When we launched Future Development almost a year and a half ago I didn’t anticipate it would take over my life the way it did and right now I feel as if a dear friend was leaving for a different country…. That friend is the Future Development Blog which is changing its host organization from the World Bank Group to Brookings Institution.
It was a difficult decision but as with everything in life change is hard but often for the best; so this is the moment I say goodbye. Since September 16th 2013, the Future Development platform has been the first thing I check and the last every day of the year without exception; and now someone else will be taking over this task.
When we started this project, our firm belief was that countries can only achieve shared prosperity if they develop their policies through evidenced-based conversation with their citizens, so our main purpose with the creation of this blog was to empower all engaged citizens to hold their governments to account more successfully so that they take decisions in poor people’s interest and not their own.
We wanted to inform and stimulate debate on key development issues and further accumulate development knowledge through interaction with all stakeholders, establishing at the same time the world’s premier development blog. Quite ambitious, no? Today, we are not there yet, but I am confident we are on the right track before we hand off the baton to Brookings.
I feel we delivered on our commitment to present high-quality analysis in an accessible language. Many experts joined us as bloggers - one is a current head of state while a second ran for president in his country recently - and we started to get noticed by those whose opinions matter, many of whom tweeted ideas from our posts. Some of our blogs were republished by national newspapers and prestigious websites.
As I say goodbye, I would also like to thank the incredible team at the World Bank who provided continuous support to this enterprise during its early inception. Future Development is blessed with an outstanding editorial board who will continue to manage the blog after the move to the new host organization, but all those people who supported us either by believing in what we could achieve, trusting us to do it, providing training, advice and helping promote the content, will no longer be involved. We would not have accomplished much without their assistance.
Shanta, Homi and Wolfgang: good luck with the next stage. I hope you get those million readers we were hoping for and you manage to inspire change in all the countries we work. As many have said we can end poverty within a generation and knowledge is the essence to get us there. I feel truly fortunate to have accompanied you on part of this journey and look forward to seeing you reach your lofty destination.