About this issue
The road to development is no longer a one-way street; and top down development assistance isn’t the "only game in town." Ideas as well as financial flows are traveling across borders from South to South, and even South to North. In a multipolar world development has become multidirectional.
In a recent speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center, World Bank President Robert Zoellick noted that development is no longer about ideology, but "about pragmatism, learning from experience, recognizing how markets and business opportunities change, sharing ideas, and connecting knowledge, just as we connect markets, across innovative networks."
This issue of Development Outreach takes stock of some new and existing models of Southern-led and Triangular cooperation and knowledge exchange. We know the models are shifting when Mexico exports an innovative poverty reduction tool to New York City, and Brazil increases its humanitarian aid by 20-fold over a three-year period (The Economist, July 2010).
Countries of the South want to learn from those who have climbed out of the trenches, who speak the same language, who have grappled with the same problems. The challenge now is to connect, coordinate, and capture the useable knowledge and experiences that will help shape and take these new models to scale, which means learning more about what works and what doesn’t. The multilateral development banks and others in the development community such as NEPAD in Africa, ASEAN in Asia, and the OAS in Latin America, can help create the space for this— physically and virtually—by connecting, brokering, documenting, and sharing the knowledge born of success (and failure) that can make solutions travel.
Articles in this issue present stakeholder perspectives on South-South cooperation from regional organizations, nongovernmental, and multilateral agencies. The final section of the magazine offers examples of SSC in practice, including summary cases prepared for the Bogotá High Level Event on South-South Cooperation and Capacity Development.
As this issue’s guest editors point out, the new models of South-South cooperation are being driven by a “double- sided demand”—the demand to learn and the demand to share knowledge, coming together in a happy convergence of interests. With strong leadership and commitment by all stakeholders, South-South cooperation can unleash the power of regional and local knowledge and forge best-fit development solutions.
John P. Didier
Acting Executive Editor
Development Outreach is a flagship magazine in the field of global knowledge for development which reflects the learning programs of the World Bank and presents a range of viewpoints by renowned authors and specialists worldwide.