South-South Cooperation in the News

Institutionalizing South-South cooperation: Towards a new paradigm?

Background paper submitted to the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The author argues that institutional frameworks in the context of South-South Economic Cooperation (SSEC) have proliferated, yet the majority remains of informal character, reflecting the challenge emerging powers face when it comes to defining the rules and principles according to which SSEC structures should function. This may be partly due to the emerging differences between rising actors in the Global South. There is some evidence that institutional arrangements that surge in the context of SSEC do not openly undermine existing structures such as the World Bank. Rather, it seems that aside from complementing existing institutions, one of the reasons for contemplating the establishment of alternative SSEC institutions is to use them as a bargaining chip to enhance emerging powers’ influence in existing institutions. Read the full report here

South-South Cooperation: Issues and Emerging Challenges

Report of conference on Southern Providers, New Delhi, 15-16 April 2013

This Report discusses the key features of South-South Development Cooperation that emerged during the deliberations of the Conference of Southern Providers. It also puts together the key recommendations for moving forward towards intensive engagement of Southern partners on development cooperation and global development agenda. Read the full report here

Evaluation of the UNDP contribution to South-South and Triangular cooperation (2008-2011)

This is the report of an independent evaluation conducted by the Evaluation Office of the United National Development Programme (UNDP) in 2012. The evaluation assesses the performance of UNDP support to South-South and triangular cooperation from 2008 to 2011. The evaluation found that UNDP has strong comparative advantage in supporting and facilitating South-South cooperation (SSC) and triangular cooperation (TrC) and enjoys high demand from partners for its facilitating role. UNDP’s policy frameworks and statements of intent are aligned with the key principles for SSC embodied in the Buenos Aires and Nairobi Outcome Documents. UNDP support for SSC related institutional work has led to preliminary results in at least three areas: capacity development of country-level international cooperation agencies and South-South mechanisms; support to research or advocacy on the strategic and policy dimensions of SSC; and support to thematic centres in selected countries. UNDP brokering of South-South knowledge exchanges, which constitutes one of the most common ways of UNDP support to SSC, has produced immediate term benefits for participants, which could evolve into longer-term benefits. Click here for the full report

India’s perspective on South-South development cooperation

Keynote address by Foreign Secretary at Conference of Southern Providers- South-South Cooperation: Issues and Emerging Challenges, 15 April 2013

  1. It is a pleasure to be here with you at this important conference on development cooperation. There has been an intensive dialogue in recent years, involving governments, NGOs and academia of both developed and developing countries, on the conceptualization, delivery mechanisms and evaluation of various forms of development assistance. Much of this dialogue has concentrated on bridging the divide between North-South and South-South engagements. Surprisingly, there is not quite as much vibrancy in exchanges of perspectives between developing countries – the countries of the South – on the impact of their development cooperation strategies and institutions and on their approach to the ongoing debate on the global development agenda. I welcome this opportunity to share with you our perspective on some of these issues. We look forward to hearing from you over the next two days.

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Human Development Report proposes a ‘new South Commission’


The 2013 Human Development Report released by the UNDP has recommended the establishing of a ‘new South Commission’, in the footsteps of an earlier institution set up in the 1980s and chaired by the former Tanzanian president, Julius Nyerere and the current India prime minister, Manmohan Singh. Titled: The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, the Report argues that the striking transformation of a large number of developing countries into dynamic major economies with growing political influence is having a significant impact on human development progress, adding that emerging powers in the developing world have become sources of innovative social and economic policies and are major trade, investment, and increasingly development cooperation partners for other developing countries. To harness the wealth of knowledge, expertise, and development thinking in the South, the Report calls for new institutions which can facilitate regional integration and South–South cooperation. A new South Commission, according to the Report, would contribute to bringing a fresh vision of how the diversity of the South can be a force for solidarity. A summary of the Report can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

About The Project

Funded by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA), the project focuses on the changing dynamics and implications of South- South cooperation, in the context of South Africa's avowed commitment to this cause in its international relations. The need to understand the complexities of South-South dynamics and their implications for foreign policy is particularly urgent for South Africa, which, while working to advance South-South multilateralism, must also contend with the corresponding need to remain true to other universal values underpinning its foreign policy as well as guarantee the specific interests of its immediate environment, that is, the African continent.

Key Themes

In recent times, South-South cooperation has received renewed attention, inspired mainly by the emergence of new southern clubs such as IBSA, BRICS and CELAC. This trend reflects a growing push by developing countries to respond to current global challenges in a coherent and concerted manner.


Aims and Objectives of The Project

The aim of the project is therefore to contribute, through critical research and dialogue, towards a nuanced understanding of contemporary South-South cooperation. In particular, it seeks to appreciate the basis on which countries in the South cooperate or compete with one another, and the implication of these dynamics for South Africa's policy.


Contact details
Address:   3rd Floor Robert Sobukwe Building
263 Nana Sita Street
South Africa

PO Box 14349
The Tramshed
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      Telephone:   +2712 337 6082
      Fax:   +2786 212 9442
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