Principles of Development Dialogue: From Practice to Policy

A one-year project to examine assumptions of key policymakers and development actors on the principles of development, the Principles of Development Dialogue will draw on the expertise of practitioners from a diverse group of organizations mobilized as part of the United States approach to assisting developing countries solve their challenges. This project brings together policymakers and practitioners for discussions around development effectiveness and new directions for development reform in light of budget cuts and the 2012 presidential election, and CSIS would provide the environment and facilities to catalyze this much-needed process. The goal is to contribute to a more systematic and inclusive approach to incorporating the experience and thought leadership of development practitioners in the U.S. Government’s international development policy planning process. The project will be led by Daniel Runde, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development (PPD) at CSIS and by Asif Shaikh, CEO of International Resources Group (IRG) and a Senior Associate at CSIS.

CSIS is beginning with an operating assumption that there is a disconnect between those who implement development ideas in the field and innovate and those in charge of forming development policy, and policymakers have missed opportunities to learn from their counterparts on the ground.  International Development Companies (IDCs), which incorporate state-of-the-art innovation into their work in some of the world’s toughest places, comprise one such largely untapped source of expertise on development issues. Another area of expertise comes from non-profit development organizations, which are also innovators and can bring effective practice and a field perspective to help shape policy decisions. A key objective of the dialogue will be to highlight the knowledge and expertise of these two sectors.

There would be three high-level invitation-only dialogues in March, April, and May 2012. The dialogues, moderated by Asif Shaikh, will look at three critical areas detailed below:

  • Perspectives on Building Local Capacity on the Ground
  • The Results, Accountability, and Transparency Nexus
  • Achieving Development Effectiveness in an Era of Austerity