The report

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

This annual document summarizes, systematizes and analyzes South-South Cooperation among Ibero-American countries and with other developing regions. The report, which has been published since 2007, is the only document of its kind in a developing region. The 2018 Report is the eleventh edition of a constantly developing product that is now entering its second decade, consolidating its position as an international benchmark.

Who prepares the report and how?

The technical team of the South-South Cooperation Unit of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) has prepared and published this report for over a decade at its headquarters in Madrid, directly engaging with the Ibero-American countries through their cooperation agencies and/or bureaus and the Ibero-American Program to Strengthen South-South Cooperation (PIFCSS).

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

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What are the main features of the 2018 Report?

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    The first chapter is prepared by the Heads of Ibero-American Cooperation, the authorities responsible for cooperation in each member country. In this edition, the countries reflect on the need to build an inclusive international cooperation system that “leaves no one behind” using new indicators to measure sustainable development in order to avoid limiting this concept to a measurement of income per capita.

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    The 2018 Report analyzes and systematizes the 1,355 South-South Cooperation programs, projects and actions carried out, identifying the leading actors and partnerships and the sectors most strengthened through South-South Cooperation. This analysis is structured along four of the five chapters that comprise this Report.

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    The Ibero-American Integrated Data System on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SIDICSS) provided the data. It is the first regional information system where countries record and share information on South-South Cooperation.

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    It includes a chapter (five) on South-South Cooperation implemented between Ibero-American countries and countries from other regions, including Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.

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    The main development in this 2018 Report is the inclusion, for the first time, of a country-based analysis for each Ibero-American country. These 22 data sheets provide greater insight into the characteristics of the SSC provided and received by each country in the region.

Results per chapter

Chapter I. Towards an international cooperation system that “leaves no one behind”: Ibero-American vision

Given the scenario after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, the Ibero-American countries reflected on some of the characteristics of the so-called “middle-income countries”, specifically on how the progress achieved in the social area can be compromised by inequality, accelerating climate change and other negative externalities of the current global scene.

Along these lines, they uphold the importance of ODA and other forms of cooperation for the countries in the region, and reflect on how the current “graduation” system applied to the so-called middle-income countries “restricts the opportunities for deepening and consolidating the achievements -made by these countries- in terms of development”.

Hence, they call for changing the ODA’s “current graduation system”, “based on per capita income in favor of alternative multidimensional criteria that can better cover the (…) complexities of development”. This change should be addressed “with a strategic approach”, through “effective dialogue with (other) actors”, working together to enable the region to develop the “evidence” and “theoretical and methodological inputs” required to “measure each country’s progress and needs in their transition towards sustainable development”.

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

Nineteen Latin America countries exchanged 680 projects and 165 bilateral SSC actions among themselves in 2016. Mexico was the top provider of projects with 155, or 22.8% of the total. It was followed, in order of relative importance, by Argentina, Chile and Brazil, with 110, 97 and 76 projects.

In contrast, El Salvador was the country that engaged in most exchanges as recipient (106). This figure virtually doubles the number of projects of the next two countries in relative importance: Mexico (58) and Colombia (56), which jointly account for another 16.9% of the total.

Nearly 40% of the 680 projects sought to strengthen capacities in the Social area, especially Health. Another one third of the exchanges (202) focused on the economic dimension. Three out of four of these exchanges were aimed at strengthening different productive sectors, in particular Agriculture. Another 91 projects were geared towards Strengthening of institutions and government policies, 42 focused on the Environment and Disaster Management, and another 40 jointly targeted the development of Culture and Gender policies.

Chapter III. Triangular Cooperation in Ibero-America

Ibero-America participated in 100 projects and 37 actions under Triangular Cooperation in 2016; a figure that, on an aggregate basis, more than doubled the amount recorded a decade ago (60).

Brazil and Chile were the top providers with 19 projects each. Among the second providers are Germany (25 projects), Spain (20), and Luxembourg and the United States (11 and 10 projects, respectively), as well as international organizations such as the FAO and the IDB. Lastly, all 19 Latin American countries acted as recipients in a Triangular Cooperation project, either individually or together with other partners. Indeed, the most common situation (18% of the cases) was to have several countries simultaneously participating as recipients.

Triangular Cooperation enabled the countries to strengthen their capacities in various areas, including protection and conservation of the environment (one in four projects), Social (especially Health and other social services and policies), and strengthening of public institutions and policies.

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

In 2016, the Ibero-American countries were active in at least 46 programs and 53 projects under Regional South-South Cooperation. Under this modality, Mexico was the country that participated in a greater number of initiatives (66) followed, in order of relative importance, by Colombia and Costa Rica, both with more than 60 programs and projects.

Some multilateral organizations were also involved in 95% of the initiatives. In almost one third of the exchanges, these organizations were Ibero-American bodies, including SEGIB, COMJIB, OEI, OIJ and OISS. A score of programs and projects were participated by SICA or one of its specialized agencies, such as CENPROMYPE.

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

In 2016, Ibero-America exchanged 314 South-South Cooperation programs, projects and actions with other developing regions. The bulk of these initiatives (130, equivalent to over 40% of the total) were exchanged with non-Ibero-American Caribbean countries. The exchanges with Africa (30% of the total) and Asia (20%) were also very substantial. The remaining 10% was mainly explained by the sum of SSC carried out in Oceania and the Middle East.

Virtually 85% of the exchanges in which Ibero-America engaged with these countries in other developing regions (265) were implemented through Bilateral SSC. The remaining 15% took place under the regional and triangular modalities, with the former (33) being double that of the latter (16).

South-South Cooperation in each Ibero-American country

Finally, a report summarizing the main data on South-South Cooperation participated by each of the 22 Ibero-American country in 2016 was prepared. These data sheets are the main development in this edition of the Report. They provide an at-a-glance view of the cooperation modalities in which each country engaged, the roles they played, the partners with which they most frequently were associated, the sectoral capacities strengthened through these exchanges and their alignment with the 2030 Agenda, and the SDGs to which this cooperation contributed.

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Ibero-american program for the strengthening of South-South Cooperation

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