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The HSD Trust has sponsored a survey to investigate how the international development can deliver more impact in the coming decade.

Research: About Us


See what the research showed


In the past the Trust has conducted thousands of interviews with beneficiaries to ensure we hear their voices.

Recently we commissioned a new survey, conducted over a one year period, by award winning Jigsaw Research to capture the collective views of development professionals both in the Global North and Global South. 

This survey identified a number of clear opportunities for increasing the impact of the international development sector, with strong majority support for change from both funders and implementers on the front line, and in both global North and Global South.


For example, 83% of interviewees in the Global North, a majority of them funders, agreed with the statement “Too many funders develop strategies & campaigns in expensive offices in the Global North, rather than starting on the front line by understanding local communities in the Global South”.

And 79% agreed that “Quality & spread of Knowledge Management in ID sector is poor, with enormous wastage. Knowledge is dispersed across many different players.”


The most promising areas for change, which appear to command both strong impact and majority support from funders/implementers and North/South were as follows:

  • A move to equal voices which means "shifting the power" and designing & developing programs with local groups rather than in remote offices in the Global North;

  • A move to unrestricted funding of organisations and goals rather than time limited projects;

  • Much greater collaboration, partnership, and knowledge sharing across the sector - to avoid reinventing the wheel.

Download Report

Barry Knight’s Literature Review tracks international development trends since 1945. 

It shows there have been many passing fads and fashions and too little effective action for sustainable change in the international development sector.

With crises in climate change, inflation (which affects the poorest most), continuing global health challenges, rising military conflicts and a crisis in political leadership, NOW is the time for action to implement changes to help the most disadvantaged.

These changes are strongly supported by both funders and implementers on the front line and amongst people in the Global North and South.


Please help share these findings by disseminating the Survey Report to people who can contribute to change.

You can also share your comments and ideas for action arising from the Survey by contacting us. 

All comments and ideas for practical action are being collated and will be shared via articles curated by Alliance Magazine and at several upcoming international conferences.

Research: Get Involved
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