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Working with Civil Society in Foreign Aid Possibilities for South-South Cooperation ?

Par Brian Tomlinson, AidWatch Canada et collaborateur de l’Observatoire sur la coopération internationale du CIRDIS. Publié par UNDP China, Septembre 2013.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2013 Human Development Report ‘The Rise of the South : Human Progress in a Diverse World’ highlights a profound shift in global dynamics.i It draws attention to unprecedented developments in the South and their implications for human development. The impact of these changing dynamics on the global economy and politics will shape the future of development in many parts of the world. Building on this report, and responding to a request from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), this study looks more closely at the implications of the ‘rise of the South’ for South–South cooperation (SSC) for development. Specifically, the focus is on the sometimes neglected roles — current and potential — for Southern civil society organizations (CSOs) in SSC.

As countries become increasingly involved in SSC for development, many are considering approaches that expand relationships with CSOs in their aid programmes. This study reviews the experiences of official development assistance (ODA) and the roles of CSOs in the traditional donor countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and a selected number of South–South aidproviders as a potential resource for policy discussions. It attempts to draw out some common themes and possible good practice in partnerships with CSOs.

The book is structured in two sections. The first part draws together lessons learned from the experiences that DAC donors and South–South aid-providers have in working with CSOs as part of their development cooperation in aid delivery. It seeks to
highlight good practices and relevant issues from the perspective of SSC actors that are possibly planning to engage CSOs in the future. The second part of this book is a collection of more detailed case studies from the USA, Australia, Sweden, Brazil,
Turkey and a few other South–South aid-providers. There is also a case study on working with international NGOs. The case studies provide country-specific in-depth knowledge on the experience of these countries in engaging CSOs in the delivery of their aid. The overall aim of the book is to provide a useful resource for different development actors by suggesting ways to engage civil society in their development policy and cooperation.

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