100 Key Research Questions for the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Oldekop et al. (2016) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

international development

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?


Why was it conducted at all?

The beginning of the 21st century heralded a shift in international development priorities and practices. The adoption of the Millennium Declaration at the United Nations (UN) in 2000, and ensuing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), committed the international community to achieving eight ambitious development objectives by 2015. Now, almost 15 years after the Millennium Declaration, a new phase for international development is about to begin, and with it an opportunity to critically assess how new development goals and milestones are likely to be shaped and delivered. This article, and the research exercise underpinning it, assumes that a greater understanding of development needs and practices can better sustain a new agenda for change.

What was the objective?

to collaboratively identify 100 research questions of critical importance for the post-2015 international development agenda

What was the outcome?

a list of 100 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

February 2014 - July 2014

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

survey; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: consultation phase: to collect research questions via a 3-stage process (survey 1, workshop 1 and workshop 2): survey 1: stakeholders asked to submit up to five questions, workshop 1: practitioners and academics collectively formulated questions, workshop 2: prior to workshop participants were asked to submit between 10 and 20 questions. Step 2: shortlisting of questions: survey 2: participants were asked to identify their top ranking (~20%) questions within at least two of the nine sections. Step 3: prioritization phase: workshop 3: 2-day workshop: consisting of parallel thematic sessions and final plenary session, questions iteratively debated, rephrased as necessary and grouped into gold, silver and bronze categories followed by general consensus via voting by show of hands, resulting in 85 gold questions, 39 silver questions and 38 bronze questions were further refined, rephrased and shortlisted, resulting overall in 100 top priority questions

Which stakeholders took part?

International and non-governmental organizations and consultancies, academics. Consultation phase: 705 participants from 109 organizations. Shortlisting: 35 participants. Prioritization phase: 35 participants: 21 representatives of international and non-governmental organizations and consultancies, and 14 academics with diverse disciplinary expertise.

How were stakeholders recruited?

SIID invited 839 individuals from 675 organizations based in Africa (160), Australasia (122), Europe (218), Latin (163) and North America (176) and working on a broad range of themes within the development sector to contribute questions. This list of organizations was compiled using Internet searches and assessing the remit and geographical coverage of individual organizations. The list was complemented with an online social media campaign.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.