Development research, despite or due to its emergence out of the colonial and postcolonial era, seeks to make a difference by focusing on issues of power and marginality. This makes it even more loaded and contested than other kinds of research, along with the responsibility to have policy influence. Despite tremendous achievements in development indicators, which researchers must subject to critical scrutiny, several challenges remain. These include an outmoded concept of ‘development’, the lack of attention to issues concerning culture and identity, uneasy relationships with policymakers, the lack of genuine interdisciplinarity and macro/micro divides. To survive over the coming decades, development research needs to focus more squarely on the ‘pedagogy Lawrence Haddad of the powerful’, address the increasing interconnectedness between North and South, local-global linkages, social change in the north and more genuine interdisciplinarity.