Development & Aid

Three women in Banglashdesh collect water from a pump in Banderban.
Flickr | Water Alternatives Photos


Development and aid are key tools in the global fight against poverty. Currently, $165 billion in annual assistance is provided to countries facing the toughest challenges. Despite this, the global extreme poverty rate reached 9.3 percent in 2020, and continues to climb.

“The direct elimination of poverty should be the objective of all development aid. Development should be viewed as a human rights issue, not as a question of simply increasing the gross national product.” Muhammad Yunus, Bangladeshi social entrepreneur.


Exacerbated by climate change, conflicts, and the Covid-19 pandemic the need for social, economic, environmental, and political support is unprecedented. We must ensure that dignity and human rights are upheld for all.

Better World Info is an excellent ➡️ platform for development and aid, with 15,000 resources to in depth analysis of the aid industry, development assistance, the SDGs, and key topics such as agriculture, debt, migration, disaster relief, education, and economic development.

Where can I find Development and Aid News?

With more than 300 handpicked links to top news resources, journals, and blogs from development experts you needn’t look any further for reliable and up to date information from the development and aid sector.

Search through global and regional news sites and magazines, as well as recommended research portals, reports, and podcasts. Find insightful social media accounts from individuals and organisations in the development and aid world. Be sure to check out and follow our Twitter lists on development & aid for up to the minute comment and analysis.

Where can I find Background Info on Development and Aid?

For a sweeping overview of key themes in international development and foreign aid look no further. Find key websites, portals, and recommended books on the topic, and an in-depth look into international development theories including humanitarianism, rights-based approaches, the impact of globalisation, and the role of NGOs.

Development data and research are key to identifying areas most in need of attention and also in measuring progress. The shift from GDP as a development indicator to a more human approach, takes the focus from economic growth, to one that considers quality of life. Learn about alternative indices which measure human rights, peace, democracy, wellbeing, food security, health, education, and environment as the most important factors.


Image depiciting the level of U.S. military spending vs. foreign aid spending in 2010.
Flickr | Joe Wolf

Find a wealth of information on the aid industry and aid effectiveness. The impact of the industry is enormous – nearly 700 million lives have been saved in the last 25 years due to aid efforts. Unfortunately, aid effectiveness is often hampered by corruption, conditionality, increased dependency, and lack of relevance. Find critical reviews, reports, and further reading on topics such as aid commitments and transparency.

Food for thought, less than 1% of the annual U.S budget goes towards foreign aid, the equivalent of $41 billion. Yet, a massive $801 billion is budgeted for military spending (2021 figures).


The Sustainable Development Goals logo. The 17 goals are represented in a circle, each with a small section given a different colour.
Global Goals | CC BY-SA 3.0

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The SDGs were adopted in 2015 by all UN members as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The goals provide the backbone for the creation of lasting peace and prosperity - placing people and the planet at its heart. The goals aim to tackle massive global issues such as ending poverty and hunger, the promotion of good health, sanitation, gender equality, justice, education, and peace. They also focus on environmental issues including climate change, sustainability, clean energy, and responsible consumption.

The goals are ambitious, and although progress has been made, overall, the scale and speed required to meet these goals by 2030 is lacking. UN members are behind schedule on all 17 goals.

Our independent guide to the SDGs follows implementation, progress, and financing. You will also find key updates and expert analysis and critique.

Prior to the SDGs, the UN committed to achieving the Millenium Development Goals. Sharing a similar approach to the SDGs, the MDGs project did achieve some success, however many of the targets were left unmet.

Where can I find the best Organisations, Institutions, and Campaigns for Development and Aid?

Get access to more than 700 organisations, institutions, campaigns, think tanks, consulting firms, and philanthropic foundations providing the financing for and working towards improving access to basic necessities in developing nations.

From small local NGOs to global institutions, these types of projects are essential in the protection of the world's most vulnerable communities. If you want to get involved in international development, learn about career opportunities, donate, network, or collaborate, then this is the directory for you.

What are the Main Issues in International Development?

Our huge guide to the biggest issues affecting developing nations and rural communities features more than 8,000 links, organised into 24 in-depth categories. For each issue find excellent news sources and blogs, the incredible organisations working towards change, top publications, and specific related topics for a wider perspective.


Women farmers plow their fields in preparation to plant corn in Gnoungouya Village, Guinea
Flickr | World Bank Photo Collection
  • Agriculture and Food

Agriculture and rural development offers a window into the difficulties faced by small holder farmers, with conditions worsened further by climate change and the resulting droughts. Soil erosion, crop failure, and death of livestock are becoming common place.

A huge 40% of the world rely on agriculture as their main source of income. With hunger rising in entire regions, ensuring sustainable and productive agriculture is a must. Explore other related issues such as land grabs, GMOs, fertilisers, women and agriculture, food sovereignty, sustainable livelihoods, and the importance of indigenous and local knowledge.

345 million people currently endure high levels of food insecurity – this is double the number in 2020. 16.6% of the global population is officially classified as undernourished. Children suffer the most, to the extent that hunger is the cause of death in 45% of child mortalities.

Better World Info provides over 1,000 resources on the topic of hunger, food security, and malnutrition. Delve into critical issues such as the global food crisis, rising food prices, the right to food, food deserts, locust swarms, and food aid.

  • Healthcare and Sanitation

Developing countries often struggle to provide adequate healthcare to their populations. 80% of people rely on ill-equipped clinics and local healers. To reach quality treatment, people may have to walk for several hours or even days. There is no ambulance service. Many sick or injured people will not seek treatment due to the distance and costs involved.

Simple disease prevention practices such as brushing teeth, the use of mosquito nets, removal of household waste, and washing vegetables are not widely known due to lack of education. If there is no access to clean water, then the situation becomes far worse.


A young child from Lonjezo Community Based Child Care Centre, in the central region of Malawi accessing clean water from a borehole installed by Feed the Children
Flickr | USAID U.S. Agency for International Development

Explore common healthcare issues such as access to medicine, inadequate health systems, maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive rights, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Check out our detailed guides to common diseases curated by a physician in our impressive health category, including information on malaria, Ebola, and HIV/AIDS.

  • Conflict

Of the 110 current armed conflicts taking place in the world today, almost all of them are in developing countries. Poverty and conflict often go hand in hand. Less developed nations tend to lack strong governance, democracy, economic growth, and political education. These factors leave countries vulnerable to foreign intervention, instability, and corruption - providing the perfect conditions for violence to erupt.

Learn more about conflict resolution and peacebuilding in developing nations, as well as post-conflict justice, disarmament, conflict prevention, fragile states, reconstruction, women and the peace process, nonviolence, and the influence of the deadly arms trade.


This map shows whether women have occupied at least a 20% share of seats in parliament, in 2017 or any previous year.
Our World in Data | CC BY 3.0
  • Governance, Democracy, and Economy

In our section on governance, democracy, and civil society you will learn how strong governance creates a more equal and just society. Countries which embrace civic education, freedom of speech, political participation from women, open and transparent governance, and social empowerment are far more likely to be successful, reject corruption, enjoy economic success, and avoid instability, violence, and coups.

Find further information on civic engagement, eGovernance, social movements, freedom of information, electoral assistance, decentralisation, and much more.

Economic growth is one of the most powerful ways to reduce poverty and raise the quality of life of citizens. If done correctly, boosting this type of growth can reduce inequalities, improve public services such as health care and education, broaden employment opportunities, and raise incomes.

We look into the factors which influence the success of economic development, and the strategies used to implement long-term positive change. Find individual categories on microfinance, SMEs, women and the economy, inclusivity, green growth, trade, the informal economy, inequality, the role of tourism, and much more.

  • Natural Disasters

The need for disaster relief and prevention has risen sharply in recent years. Climate change has increased the frequency of extreme weather events and disasters – in fact, between 2006 and 2016 the rate of climate-related disasters has tripled. The rate of global sea-rise is 2.5 times faster than in the 20th century, and more than 20 million people a year become displaced from their homes as climate refugees.

The countries which are most vulnerable to climate change, are the ones with the lowest emissions levels and lowest culpability – developing nations. Not only do they not have the financial resources to deal with these events, but their infrastructure, healthcare, and ability to adapt tends to be much weaker. Developing countries usually rely heavily on their natural resources and are heavily dependent on agricultural production for their survival. Severe droughts or flooding events can leave whole populations at risk of famine and disease.

With 79% of historical carbon emissions deriving from developed countries, calls for international support to finance climate adaptation were finally answered with the creation of the UN loss and damage fund at COP 27. Be sure to check out our other categories on climate debt, the Green Climate Fund, and the new annual $30 billion biodiversity fund agreed at COP 15.

  • Children in Developing Countries

Children in developing countries are disproportionally affected and are particularly vulnerable. Approximately 1 billion children are classed as multidimensionally poor. This means that they lack basic necessities such as clean water, nutrition, shelter, healthcare, and education.

One-third of children in low and middle-income countries fail to reach developmental milestones. Without these abilities, a child's physical and mental health is severely compromised. These children are more likely to drop out of school, suffer with poor health, and continue to have their basic human rights denied.

Mortality rates of children remain high in poorer countries, the worst example of this can be seen in Sub-Saharan Africa where 1 in 13 children will die before their fifth birthday. Other issues include lack of birth registration which later in life will prevent access to governmental services and social protection. Without this safety net many children fall victim to exploitation and are especially vulnerable to child marriage, child labour, sexual abuse, trafficking, and use by militants as child soldiers.


These infographics make the case for investing in girls and women with focus on specific tasks and goals related to maternal and newborn health, family planning and reproductive health, women's health, education, and equality.
Flickr | Norad - Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

The upholding of children's rights is essential to prevent these types of abuses. In many cases education, in particular the education of girls, can stop the preconditions to these social issues and rights violations. Education is the key to giving boys and a girls a much greater chance of reaching their full potential.

Better World Info provides a wealth of information on children in developing countries, for further reading, checkout our categories on the right to education, education in conflict, the importance of peace, environmental, and human rights education, literacy, FGM, the use of dowries, children in war zones, child protection, street children, and orphanages.

A whole host of complex, interconnected issues effect developing nations. Above we have highlighted some of the most pressing challenges, but you will find much more information on equally pertinent issues such as social development, global health, extractive industries, land grabs, women and development, financing, Fair Trade, migration, urban development and housing, infrastructure, global trade, indigenous peoples, and third world debt and relief.

Which Developing Regions need the most Support?

Sorted by region, this category allows you to follow the progress of development efforts in all corners of the world, learn about key issues in each area, as well as our recommended news sources, and the organisations fighting for better lives for everyone.

In Sub-Saharan Africa we explore issues such as debt, questionable financing, the HIV/AIDs crisis, the ongoing Horn of Africa famine, environmental concerns, and AGRA.

The Middle East and North Africa category features information on the numerous conflicts which are plaguing the region, and various uprisings which have taken place over the years. Find information on the resulting humanitarian crises, and aid efforts to reduce suffering.

Regarding Asia and the Pacific, discover material on the implications of climate change in the region, positive examples and success stories, dam projects, and the green revolution.

In 2022 Latin America witnessed the highest number of attacks on environmental defenders, making it the most lethal region globally - 40% of which were indigenous peoples. Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Nicaragua rank as the most at risk countries. Find information on various indigenous populations, the war on drugs, and rising inequality.

Be sure to check out our country-by-country guides on politics and human rights for further essential reading.

What is Development Management?

Development management is the process of planning, administrating, and implementing a project on a local or regional level, with the end goal of improving standards of living through the progression of various economic, social, and political elements.

Our guide to development management offers a wealth of resources and guides featuring key information on different development theories and approaches, fundraising and grant writing, humanitarianism, economic development, structural adjustment programs, mapping, gender analysis, participatory development, research, development data and indices, statistics, monitoring and evaluation, NGO management, advocacy and campaigning, as well as top online resource centres.

Learn how you can get involved and make a difference today.


UN Women staff hold a community meeting for women in a Cameroon refugee camp
Flickr | UN Women

What Career, Volunteer, and Study Opportunities are there in International Development?

Looking for a career that gives you satisfaction and helps others to improve their lives? One of the many opportunities in the development management field or aid industry could be for you. Search through our extensive toolbox on education and careers in development to find exciting roles such in aid delivery, policy development, foreign correspondence, and fundraising.

Discover excellent under and post-graduate courses, as well as short courses and online learning options. Search through our recommended job sites for inspiration and find careers advice portals, as well as volunteering opportunities all in the field of development.

How can we achieve Global Unity and Positive Change?

Here at Better World Info, we share a vison of one world. A world which is focused on a shared humanity, connection, and compassion. A world where we uplift each other, exist in peace, and live sustainably - enhancing the planet rather than depleting it. A world where we are not defined by the place we were born, or our physical characteristics.

Read more about the impacts of globalisation and find inspiring voices such as American linguist Noam Chomsky. We provide information on various organisations calling for global change, and other groups such as the Club of Rome, the Club of Marrakesh, the Fortune Forum, the Vision Summit, and the brilliant Oxfam Platform.

Find further delight in the progress made possible by donations from generous philanthropists and their foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Giving, the Ford Foundation, Comic Relief, the HAND Foundation, and many more.

Better World Info's Afterthoughts on Development and Aid

Issues which hinder developing nations are often tied to cultural, religious, or social norms. When faced with centuries of tradition, education becomes key. It can take multiple generations for new traditions which promote greater equality and prosperity to be accepted.

Other barriers include high level corruption, violence, foreign interference, and instability. Peace, good governance, democracy, and the upholding of human rights form the foundations for improved quality of life.

Better World Info serves as an education tool disseminating knowledge on your rights. It provides easy access to local development organisations, and allows them to network for a greater impact. We also work hard to raise awareness of the issues faced by developing nations by supporting days such as World Humanitarian Day, International Day of Education, International Women’s Day, and many others.

Our platform for gender equality is a powerful tool aiding progression in the gender equality movement. It boasts over 5,000 links on women's and girls' rights, organisations, challenges, and how we can begin to overcome them for a more inclusive and prosperous world for everyone.

We must uplift all sectors of society, embrace empowerment, remove barriers to positive change, and foster a culture of kindness. As the Dalai Lama said, 

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”

For our German speakers, be sure to check out our sister site Bessere Welt Info where you will find over 1,500 resources in our category Eine Welt.

Author: Rachael Mellor, 10.05.23 licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0

For further reading on Development & Aid see below  ⬇️

Hot Topics

6 giant orange hands are held in the air display the words 'No more hunger. Act now'
Flickr | Oxfam International

World Food Day - October 16

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, climate change disturbing food production, massive inflation, conflict, and global tensions, the issue of food security has never been more pressing. The need for sustainable, affordable and adaptable farming systems is vital. With 800 million people suffering from hunger and malnutrition, the time to act is now. No one should be left behind.

World Food Day - October 16

Horn Africa Hunger Crisis

In 2011, a famine killed some 260,000 people in Somalia, this year 41% of the total population of 16 million is likely to face acute food insecurity between now and December. Martin Griffiths of the UN has highlighted the injustice of the impact of the climate crisis, as it mainly affects populations that do not contribute significantly to it. Continuing droughts have caused Somalis to lose their livestock and crops, forcing thousands to flee their homes in the hope of saving their lives and those of their families.  

Horn Africa Hunger Crisis
Image of the Earth with two hands infront one helping the other
Freepik | WHD

World Humanitarian Day – August 19

This annual day is a worldwide celebration of people helping people, dedicated to humanitarian workers and those who have lost their lives supporting humanitarian causes. It raises awareness of the importance of this work, and the positive impact it has around the world - often in dangerous settings. Ensuring the survival, well-being, and dignity of those affected by crises is vital, we must protect the security and protection of aid workers and those providing assistance. This year we celebrate #TheHumanRace and focus on climate action and solidarity for those most in need.

World Humanitarian Day – August 19
Female farmer sifts grain under the hot sun
Word Press | World Bank Photo Collection

Global Food Crisis & Increasing Food Prices

The 2022 Global Report on Food Crisis revealed the highest level ever of people living in hunger crisis or worse. The collapse of food supply and drastic price increases is being driven by global factors such as conflict (including the war in Ukraine), the economic impacts of Covid-19, and increasingly climate change, in particular drought. Devastatingly, the short supply of key commodity crops like corn and wheat, coupled with the increase in fuel and fertiliser cost, is having severe and long-lasting repercussions around the world.

Global Food Crisis & Increasing Food Prices
United Nations

2030 Agenda

These 17 goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for 2030, aim to end poverty, protect the environment and ensure peace and prosperity for all. Find all the information & updates on the Sustainable Development Goals here.

2030 Agenda
Public Domain


War, extreme violence and poverty are some of the reasons why 65 million people have left their homes. Syria, Venezuela, Central America and North Africa are currently suffering some of the biggest forced migrations. And the rise of far-right parties in the countries that hold these migrants are causing a humanitarian crisis.

Public Domain


815 million people suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition around the world, the majority of these people live in developing countries and in conflict areas. Poverty is the main cause and children are the principal victims of hunger as it compromises their intellectual and physical development and affects them lifelong.

José Manuel Suárez

Water Crisis

It affects every continent and is one of the largest global risks, as 844 million people around the world lack access to it. We are the blue planet, and water sometimes is seen as an unlimited resource. But the reality is that water is scarce, and the need of finding a sustainable balance between its use and its preservation must be a global priority.

Water Crisis

Land grabbing

Europe and the US are the biggest consumers of land in the world and they both mainly depend on imported land. In the past years, millions of productive lands from developing countries are being sold to transnational companies and foreign investors without the informed consent of the communities that depend on these lands for their survival.

Land grabbing

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