Top-hiring sectors in international development in 2023

By Daniil Filipenco

Top-hiring sectors in international development in 2023

With international aid volumes rising significantly in 2022 due to the major challenges encountered by our planet’s population, the development job market offered plenty of employment possibilities. Donors and implementing partners sought experts and consultants in many fields for an extraordinary number of job vacancies – over 163,000. Using the world’s largest aid platform,, we discovered that 17 sectors of the 85 defined in the database accounted for over half of the total number – 86,000 job posts.

For professionals, being aware of emerging trends and high-demand sectors is crucial. Utilizing insights from the DevelopmentAid platform, our analysis delves into the top sectors which we have grouped according to their links, exhibiting the highest number of employment openings in 2023, alongside information regarding the geographical area where these opportunities predominantly arose.

Below you can find the main sectors and the number of job posts grouped by continent.

Sectors: Macroeconomy, Statistics and Public Fiscal Management (PFM)

In the world of international development, the Macroeconomy, Statistics, and PFM sectors are unquestionably essential to ensuring long-term progress, promoting economic growth and reducing poverty on a global scale. Hence they feature the largest number of job opportunities.

There is a notable concentration of job prospects in Africa, with Asia and Northern America following closely behind. Most of the jobs are associated with non-governmental organizations (NGOs)and charitable entities or recognized international organizations such as the United Nations Foundation, World Bank and the European Commission.

In this highly competitive landscape, those who possess key strengths such as operational and/or strategic policy formulation, coupled with strong analytical skills and proficiency in English, can be considered to be extremely sought after.

Currently, there are almost 1000 job openings in the Macroeconomy, Statistics and Public Fiscal Management (PFM) sectors.

Number of jobs in Macroeconomy, Statistics and PFM, 2023


Sectors: Education, Employment and Social Development

Education and employment are interdependent, with a higher level of education increasing a person’s chances of becoming more valuable on the job market and securing a higher-paid position.

Studies show that people with at least an upper secondary education have a greater chance of securing employment than those who lack it.

According to the DevelopmentAid database, a large number of job postings in these sectors are in Asian and African countries. In Asia, high rates of unemployment in some regions can be attributed to a number of factors. In some Asian nations, this is due to the rapid economic transformation which, although generating new jobs, also displaces many people with a lack of specific skills (which could have been acquired through education which is missing).

As for Africa, some countries on this continent struggle with unemployment among young people and the situation is alarming. Besides the fact that the job market in some African countries is rather thin, after graduation, many students still lack the necessary skills.

There are nearly 650 job openings in the Education, Employment and Social Development sectors.

Number of jobs in Education, Employment and Social Development, 2023


Sectors: Telecommunication and Information Technologies

In view of the fast pace of technological development, it should come as no surprise that this sector has a large number of employment opportunities with an increasing number of professionals with specific technical skills required globally.

Besides enriching the job market with new opportunities, telecommunication and information technologies increase access to valuable information, and facilitate growth for both individuals and society as a whole.

Since technological development is showing staggering growth in developed and developing countries, most jobs in the telecommunication and information technologies sector in 2023 were to be found in Northern America, followed by Asia.

There are currently over 600 job openings in the telecommunication and information technologies sectors.

Number of jobs in Telecommunication and Information Technologies, 2023


Sectors: Fundraising and NGOs

When it comes to charitable work, financial assistance, and international development, NGOs are crucial. They work in many different areas such as environment, human rights, and development.

NGOs can be involved in national and international initiatives in almost every field that supports the advancement of democratic values such as civic education, women’s involvement, human rights, and the rule of law.

In the U.S., there are about 1.5 million NGOs that are engaged in a broad range of operations, notably political advocacy on foreign policy, healthcare, environmental issues, women’s rights, and economic growth and the DevelopmentAid database shows that Northern America had the highest number of jobs in this sector in 2023.

Nearly 500 job openings are available today in the Fundraising and NGOs sectors.

Number of jobs in Fundraising and NGOs, 2023


Sector: Health

Technological innovations, constantly evolving demographics, and shifting needs for patients are driving serious shifts in global healthcare systems. However, the world continues to be separated by frontiers, restrictions, and cultural differences even though people are now more linked than ever before. The generally accepted goal of global health workers is to eradicate all obstacles so that more people are able to benefit from a healthy life.

Medical personnel, researchers, and health officials fight some of the deadliest diseases, handle pandemics and outbreaks, save people’s lives by working with other governments and groups, and provide knowledge and education to underserved populations.

Health professionals have a wide range of job alternatives to choose from in this field. The leading organizations in international development are offering medical professionals opportunities to work in numerous regions, especially in Africa and Asia where people need them the most.

It is worth mentioning that a 2022 study surveyed 47 African nations, and found that there are not enough medical professionals in at least 37 of these, with only 1.5 healthcare professionals per 1,000 people. The number of health experts in the region is significantly less than the standard set by the World Health Organization, i.e., 4.45 employees per 1,000 people.

Currently, over 600 vacant jobs are available in the Health sector.

Number of jobs in Health sector, 2023


Sector: Environment

The difficulties and problems that our planet’s natural systems are facing are collectively referred to as environmental issues. These problems are intricately linked and range from pollution and poor waste management to overcrowding and excessive energy consumption.

Environmental problems can have a substantial impact on people’s well-being, as well as on the performance of businesses. The poor state of the environment is most noticeable in developing and underdeveloped nations where it results in epidemics, reduced lifespans, and poor public health. In 2023, the DevelopmentAid database featured numerous employment opportunities across virtually every continent.

Currently, there are nearly 500 jobs in the Environment sector.

Number of jobs in the Environment sector, 2023


Sector: Good Governance, Human Rights

A strong democracy and sustainable development depend on the junction of two concepts that are supportive of one another: human rights and good governance.

Human rights fill good governance with the necessary content, norms, and standards; however, good governance that is guided by the norms and principles of human rights establishes the favorable conditions that are required for the state to uphold, defend, and realize human rights.

The opinion expressed by the UN Human Rights Office states that the connection between human rights and good governance may be systematized in four key domains. These are the rule of law, democratic institutions, service delivery, and anti-corruption.

Some of the most well-known and recognized organizations that emphasize human rights are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Foundation. The highest number of open positions in this sector in 2023 on the DevelopmentAid platform was in Africa and Asia.

Over 350 job openings are currently available in the Good Governance and Human Rights sectors.

Number of jobs in Good Governance, Human Rights, 2023


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