What is the Report on South-South Cooperation in Ibero-America?

This annual document summarizes, systematizes and analyzes South-South Cooperation in Ibero-American countries. The Report, which has been published since 2007, is the only document of its kind in a developing region. The 2016 Report is the ninth edition of a constantly evolving product.

Who prepares the report and how?

The Report relies on input from Ibero-American countries (represented by national cooperation agencies and/or bureaus), the Ibero-American Program to Strengthen South-South Cooperation (PIFCSS) and SEGIB, who is tasked with its drafting and final publication.

The Ibero-American countries jointly agree on the contents of the report, the recording method and the definition of concepts, thus making this report an exercise in South-South Cooperation. The countries involved in the drafting process work at two levels: technical and political.

Report on South-South Cooperation in Ibero-America 2016

What’s new in the 2016 edition?

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    Data collected through SIDICSS

    For the first time, the data in this Report was collected by and extracted from the Ibero-American Integrated Data System on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SIDICSS), a web-based tool for countries to record and share their South-South Cooperation data more accurately.

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    New chapter on cooperation with other developing regions

    It includes a new chapter on cooperation with other developing regions, such as Africa and Asia. This is compounded with information on the non-Ibero-American Caribbean, which had been inputted in the Report since 2012, in an effort to advance the process of recording all South-South Cooperation exchanged in Ibero-America.

Chapter I. The Contribution of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Ibero-America towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals

The first chapter, prepared by the Heads of Ibero-American Cooperation (cooperation authorities), focuses on two major issues. First, it looks at what the region has done to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and emphasizes the active role of the States in making progress towards these goals, in particular, through national budgets as the main source of resources. Second, based on this, the region advocates the role that could be played by South-South and Triangular Cooperation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), as it takes the view that both forms of cooperation are an effective tool for addressing development challenges faced by the countries in the South in implementing the 2030 Development Agenda.

Chapter II. Ibero-America and Bilateral Horizontal South-South Cooperation

The countries exchanged 552 projects and 333 actions under Bilateral South-South Cooperation. The analysis of these nearly 900 initiatives reveals that:

Fifteen countries participated as providers, of which seven (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile and Cuba) accounted for almost 92% of the 552 projects executed in 2014. However, the relative share of each country varied widely, with Argentina (24.5%) and Brazil (23.6%) as the first and second top providers in 2014, and Cuba (5.4%), with the smallest share.

Though all countries acted as recipients, El Salvador and Bolivia stood out with 16% and 12%, respectively, of the 552 projects. Costa Rica, Peru, Uruguay and Ecuador came next, in descending order, with an individual share of 6% to 7% of the total.

Also worth noting are the various capacity profiles strengthened through Bilateral Horizontal South-South Cooperation. Indeed, the bulk of the 552 projects (70%) driven by Ibero-American countries was geared towards the Economic (40%) and Social sectors (30%). This profile was influenced by the support of a number of countries for Agriculture (15.3%) and the Processing industry (7.0%) and, for Health (14.3 %), Education (5.6%) and Other services and social policies (5.2%). Slightly more than half of the remaining 30% of projects focused on institutional strengthening of Governments.

Chapter III. Triangular South-South Cooperation in Ibero-America

Especially notable is the increase in Triangular Cooperation initiatives since the first Report. Indeed, the historic time series on the evolution of the number of Triangular South-South Cooperation actions, projects and initiatives (the sum of the first two) implemented in the region between 2006 and 2014 shows a strong sustained growth of this form of cooperation. Indeed, the final figure has seen nearly a nine-fold increase between 2006 (21) and 2014 (183).

This report also includes the 90 projects and 93 actions in which Ibero-America participated. With regard to these 183 initiatives, the following should be noted in terms of the different roles.

  • First Providers: Twelve of the 19 Ibero-American countries were active in Triangular SSC as first providers. Chile, in particular, stood out in transfer of capacities with almost 4 out of 10 projects; followed by Brazil (16.7%); Argentina (11.1%); and Mexico and Colombia, who together accounted for another 15%.
  • Second Providers: Twenty-three countries and/or organizations were active in this role. Spain and Germany were active in a larger number of projects (17 each), followed by Japan (15). The three countries together accounted for about 55% of the 90 final projects. Notable also in this role were, in descending order, United States, Canada, Korea, Italy, Mexico, Norway and Uruguay, as well as a number of international organizations, some with links to or part of the UN system (FAO, PAHO, WFP and UNICEF) and a few regional organizations (IICA, IDB or CAF).
  • Recipients: The countries that were most active as recipients were El Salvador (15.6% of 90 projects), Peru and Paraguay (8.9% each) and Bolivia (7.8%). These four countries together accounted for 41.2% of the initiatives. However, more often than not, several countries received Triangular South-South Cooperation simultaneously. This was the case in more than one-third of the projects (34.4%).

Chapter IV. Ibero-America and Regional Horizontal South-South Cooperation

This chapter focuses on the 39 programs and 59 projects under Regional Horizontal South-South Cooperation in which Ibero-American countries reported that they had participated in 2014. The analysis renders interesting information on the type of problems collectively addressed in the region through this form of South-South Cooperation. In particular:

Brazil was the most active country in Regional Horizontal South-South Cooperation programs and projects (61). This was followed, in descending order, by five countries that came close to or exceeded fifty programs and projects: Mexico (58), Argentina (56), Peru (52), Colombia (51) and Chile (49). Meanwhile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador and Bolivia, together with Costa Rica and Panama were active in a number of programs and projects (between 30 and 40 initiatives). Four Central American countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua), together with the Dominican Republic (Caribbean) and Spain (Iberian Peninsula), formed a bloc that participated in 21 to 25 Regional HSSC programs and projects. Finally, the countries least active in the 98 initiatives under Regional HSSC in 2014 were Andorra (1 program); Portugal (7 programs); and Cuba and Venezuela (11 and 18, respectively).

The programs and projects driven by Ibero-American countries were geared towards a variety of sectoral capacities. Slightly more than half of these 98 initiatives (52.0%) were socio-economically oriented, with a particular focus on capacity building in the Social sector (27.6% of total) and on creating Infrastructure and economic services (24.5%). Within these two dimensions, worthy of note were health care and application of scientific and technological advances to economic, social and even environmental activity. Meanwhile, the other half of the initiatives (48.0%) were geared towards four different objectives: in descending order, Other multisectoral (one out of five programs and projects); Institutional strengthening (15.3%); the Environment (8.2%); and, again in the Economic sector, development of Productive sectors (5.1%).

Chapter V. Ibero-America and South-South Cooperation with other developing regions

For the first time, this Report includes a chapter that provides a glimpse into South-South Cooperation between Ibero-America and other developing regions, in particular, the non-Ibero-American Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Though it is still an incomplete exercise with partial reporting, it offers insight into the 229 initiatives (of all forms of cooperation) in which Ibero-America was active with 48 countries in other regions, especially with the neighboring countries in the non-Ibero-American Caribbean.

Executive Summary

Executive Summary Report on South-South Cooperation in Ibero-America 2016

Complete Report

Report on South-South Cooperation in Ibero-America 2016

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Ibero-American Program to Strengthen South-South Cooperation

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