IDS Students predict the development trends for 2017

20 December 2016

As an eventful 2016 draws to a close, MA students studying at IDS take stock and look ahead to what they think the international development trends will be in 2017.

A lot has happened over the last twelve months in a year that saw the first implementation stages of the UN Global Goals and the COP 21 climate change agreement, the ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen, a turbulent time for the European Union and the US presidential election reverberating around the world – just to mention a few.

For IDS, 2016 heralded the Institute's 50th anniversary and highlights of the year included, the launch of the IDS Bulletin, the States, Markets and Society conference, the first IDS Annual Lecture, winning the ESRC Outstanding International Impact Prize for the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform and welcoming 185 new students to IDS in September.

IDS students come from all over the world to study post-graduate courses on a range of development issues and as the international development leaders of the future, have predicted for us what they think the top development trends over the next twelve months will be.


Brandon Bollinger from the United States, studying MA Gender and Development think development issues around care, labour, violence, income inequality, sexuality, and even climate change among many others are all connected to ‘Gender Justice’. Brandon believes it will be crucial in 2017 to mobilise on gender, and engage more men and boys to motivate politicians to stand up and speak out about it.


Funanani Nemaheni from South Africa, studying MA Governance and Development believes the equality debate in 2017 will extend to free sanitary pads as some girls and women in developing countries cannot afford them and a price tag should not be placed on biology.


Stephanie Mandl Figueiras from Portugal, studying MA Development Studies highlights the importance of solidarity amid rising populism and discrimination. Stephanie believes that only by standing together can people really solve these problems together and fight for peace.


Ahmad AbuShaikha from Jordan, studying MA Development, believes that development discourse must now be about choice – moving away from a focus on providing access to basic needs to providing choices and access to growth and achieving economic sustainability.


Nora Cole from Canada, studying MA Governance and Development predicts the biggest development theme for 2017 will be migrant rights. In a time of unprecedented globalisation, when huge amounts of wealth, resources, and arms move across borders but bar people. Nora believes that until global problems of conflict, oppression, and poverty are addressed, migrants deserve the same rights as the citizens of the countries they pass through and live in.

What would your #DevTrends2017 be?

If you're on Twitter or Facebook why not share what you think the top development trend of 2017 will be using #DevTrends2017. A simple status update, photo or even a video is easy with the latest mobile apps. Try this tweet starter:

My #DevTrends2017 would be #yourhashtag and add some text/photo/video