Polis Brief N° 29 – Development cooperation of the future: A critical look at what could change by 2030



by Sara Daub, Ilona Koch, Anastasia Rentzing


Development cooperation and related policies remain subjects of continuous review and debate.  The concept is defined as cooperation between countries, international organisations and non-governmental organisations to support the economic, social and political development of less developed or vulnerable regions and countries. Further dialogue is imperative among all relevant stakeholders, including decision-makers, evaluators, experts, practitioners, civil society organisations, and those directly impacted by development policies. There is a need for further debates on its relevance, design and impact that go beyond roundtable discussions. 

This Polis Brief addresses three areas that should stimulate constructive dialogue. Development cooperation is a business, still hierarchical, and political. We offer and encourage everyone to engage with the raised questions and recommendations. Constructive discussions and serious endeavours are a promising starting point for a paradigm change that fosters sustainable development. This will enable development cooperation to achieve goals that bridge divides, recognise potential and move towards a more equitable future.



Sara Daub is a PhD candidate at the Hertie School in Berlin analysing civil wars, non-state actors and diaspora politics.  She holds a Master of Arts in Development  Studies, specialised in Economics. Sara is the co-head of the program De_constructing development at Polis180. 

Ilona Koch is a political scientist, who holds a Master of Science degree in Political Economy and a Master of Arts degree in Political Sociology. Ilona has worked in the area of development cooperation. She is the spokesperson of the working group “Peace and International Affairs” of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in Berlin. Since 2021 Ilona is active the program De_construcing development at Polis180.

Anastasia Rentzing is a Master of Arts candidate in Peace Research and International Relations with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. In her master’s thesis, she analysed the potentials and challenges of localising humanitarian action. She is part of the De_constructing development programme at Polis180.


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