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Next Horizons Essay Contest

Photo by Anes Sabitovic/Unsplash


In 2014, GDN ran an international essay competition on the future of development assistance in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The contest received 1,470 submissions from 142 countries around the world. Thirteen winners were selected, including tenured academics, students and professionals within and outside the field of international development.

In 2016, seven winners were invited to deliver their ideas at a variety of high-level events to recognized experts and top policymakers in the development arena: during the Civil Society Policy Forum at the 2016 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (April), at the Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington DC (June), at the Brookings Institution (June) and in partnership with the OECD DAC in Paris (September).

The contest was judged through a comprehensive and strict multi-review stage process. An eminent jury, comprising of international luminaries and experts, selected 13 essays judged to be the best and most potentially consequential on the basis of their originality, usefulness and analytical quality.

The members of the international jury panel were:

  • Jury Chair: Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development
  • Armida S. Alisjahbana, ex Minister of National Development Planning and Head of National Development Planning Agencay (BAPPENAS), Indonesia
  • Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) & Chair, Southern Voices on Post-MDG International Development Goals
  • Elizabeth Ford, Deputy Editor, Guardian’s Global Development website 
  • Erik Solheim, Chair, OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
  • Frannie Leautier, Partner & CEO, Mkoba Private Equity Fund
  • Gargee Ghosh, Director, Development Policy & Finance, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Guillermo Perry, Professor, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia 
  • Hiroshi Kato, Vice-President, Japan International Cooperation Agency 
  • Pierre Jacquet, President, Global Development Network
  • Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International

See the list of winning authors and links to their essays here.


Find out more

To find the studies completed under this program, please go to the Research section of this website, and check back frequently for updates.