One of the thematic areas on which the DCF is focusing as part of its review of trends in development cooperation is the
strengthening of South-South cooperation. To do so will require addressing three
• An analytical gap – through a better understanding of the scope of South-South
Cooperation (SSC) and the provision on a voluntary basis of data and information on
• An operational gap – through improved analysis on the support SSC requires – notably
through triangular cooperation- and on ways to maximize its impact,
• A political gap – through the promotion of a consensus amongst Southern partners
(including countries offering cooperation programmes) on the basic principles of South-
South cooperation, ways to measure its scope and what works to maximise its impact.
To begin addressing the first gap, the DCF has commissioned an analytical background study
to address the following questions1:
• What pragmatic definition should be used to measure South-south cooperation? What
should the definition exactly cover? How would such cooperation flows be measured?
• What are the main practical obstacles and challenges to voluntary data collection in
SSC at the country level?
• How should the work on the measurement and data collection move forward?
• What could be the possible focus of further analytical work of the DCF on SSC?
South-south cooperation has a long and proud history as an important form of solidarity
between countries of the south and has increased significantly in recent years. For the
international community to acknowledge accurately its increasing role and importance there
needs to be better and more comprehensive data and information available. Furthermore it is
largely recognised that SSC has considerable advantages and better information will benefit
partner countries, enabling them to seek the most cost effective and appropriate funding for
their development programmes and supporting policy making.
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