From Dhangadhi to Davos- the Post 2015 Development Agenda from the Bottom-Up

Written by Blair Glencorse on the Global Policy Journal. He examines how the world’s leaders can incorporate lessons from the grassroots into efforts to shape the future of developing countries.

This week, the world’s elites will descend on Davos for the annual World Economic Forum. Leaders from across business, politics and international organizations will spend three days listening to panels, devouring buffets and shaking hands. New ideas will develop, connections will be made and, subsequently, policies will change. This year,the post 2015 development agenda is high on the list of topics to be discussed. While conferences like Davos are absolutely essential to make sure decision-makers get development right in the future- it is also imperative that these meetings are informed by the mistakes of the past and ground realities of the present.

Recently, I took a trip to Dhangadhi- a town on a dusty plain in southern Nepal near the Indian border, which could not feel further away from the halls of the luxury hotels of Davos. I met representatives of the local Madheshi community to try and understand more about political, developmental and accountability dynamics in the region. While sipping chai, the groups I chatted with talked for hours about the difficulties they faced on a daily basis- which ranged from the inaccessibility and corruption of politicians, to issues of exclusion and inequality.

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