This special issue of International Development Policy analyses the major shifts affecting traditional development assistance, particularly with regard to global public policy and the emerging economies.
In this introductory chapter, the authors examine the changing development landscape and the shifting geography of poverty to question the role of aid organisations in middle-income economies (MICs). They argue that continued donor engagement in these richer countries is warranted for two reasons.
First, and in the best interest of lower-income countries (LICs), traditional donors and MICs must cooperate in the design and implementation of global policies to protect global public goods. Second, foreign aid agencies can assist MICs in reducing poverty at home. They must, however, tread lightly in this political endeavour that often implies supporting domestic drivers of change in pushing for tax reform and improved public service delivery.
The authors focus in particular on the pivotal role of the emerging middle classes and civil society organisations in MICs. Finally, they introduce policy coherence for sustainable development as a shared framework for MICs and high-income countries (HICs) to effectively address the poverty and global public goods agendas.