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Document Abstract
Published: 2013

Adding new spices to development cooperation. Brazil, India, China and South Africa in health, agriculture and food security

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In recent years, the four so-called emerging powers or economies - Brazil, India, China and South Africa (the BICS) - have gained considerable academic, policy and media attention for their activities in development cooperation. Some authors argue that these countries employ innovative and alternative approaches to development cooperation than the traditional, i.e. OECD-DAC donors.

This paper presents a literature review of what is known about the characteristics of development cooperation in the sectors health and agriculture and food security (AFS) of these four countries. the research examines the characteristics (actors, motivation, objectives. Specific attention is given to development cooperation in health in Mozambique, and agriculture and food security in Malawi.

A first conclusion is that the BICS’ involvement in these specific sectors is to a large extent embedded in their general development cooperation policies. The BICS development cooperation shows a number of similarities and dissimilarities:

  • the BICS are by no means a new actor in development cooperation, although their current involvement may differ significantly from that in previous decades
  • the BICS development cooperation budget is not restricted to official development aid, but goes beyond this financial flow
  • the institutional set-up of the BICS development cooperation is to a large extent still in evolution and involves a multitude of governmental actors
  • the discourse of the BICS is markedly different from that of the OECD-donors (and moreover, the BICS do not consider themselves as donors)
  • the modalities and instruments do not only differ among the BICS, but also between the BICS and the OECD-donors in various ways
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T. de Bruyn

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