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Rising Powers such as Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, once predominantly regarded as aid recipient countries, are now becoming more active as donors in their own right, raising important issues for debates on the future of international development cooperation.

Some of the Rising Powers have developed innovative strategies which have achieved considerable social development gains in their home countries, leading researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers to analyse ways of learning from their experiences and applying these lessons elsewhere, particularly in Africa. In addition to exchanges supported by traditional bilateral and multilateral donors, these countries are increasingly active in sharing their experiences directly through ‘South-South Cooperation’.

This guide looks at research outputs in key thematic areas covering the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and other ‘emerging’ or ‘Rising Powers’ in international development, and their impact on poverty reduction and social development in low-income countries.

Chinese engagement in African agriculture

A new Open Access Special Issue of World Development based on work on the changing role of China and Brazil in Africa’s agriculture is now available. The work was developed under the ‘China and Brazil in African Agriculture’ project of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC).

Ian Scoones, joint convenor of the FAC, has written two blog posts around the findings of the articles in the Special issue, arguing that Chinese engagement in Africa is actually not yet at the scale sometimes assumed.

Read his blogs: Chinese engagement in African agriculture is not what it seems and Are China and Brazil transforming African agriculture?


Rising Powers in International Development: an annotated bibliography
For a detailed overview of issues around rising powers, take a look at this bibliography which builds on the work of the ‘BRICS Initiative’, a horizon-scanning project supported by the UK's Institute of Development Studies' Tomorrow Today fund, and the DFID-funded Rising Powers in International Development (RPID) programme.

Latest Documents

The BRICS initiatives towards a new financial architecture: an assessment with some proposals
S. Sen / Research and Information System for Developing Countries 2016
It is heartening, the author of this paper argues, to observe that developing countries, led by China and other BRICS members have been successful to organise alternative sources of credit flows . aiming for financial stability, growt...
Social Protection for Sustainable Development: dialogues between Africa and Brazil
World Centre for Sustainable Development / RIO+ Centre 2016
Over the last few decades, Latin American countries have experienced a boom in social protection policies. This increase has been fuelled by the expansion of fiscal space as the result of steady economic growth. While many of these co...
Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for South-South and Triangular Development Cooperation: lessons from Brazil for the 2030 agenda
United Nations Development Programme 2016
In the past 15 years, South-South development cooperation (SSDC)1 and triangular development cooperation (TrC) have been growing in prominence as a result of an increase in resources, geographical reach and diversity of approache...
Brazilian triangular cooperation in social protection: contribution to the 2030 Agenda
United Nations Development Programme 2016
International organizations have played a crucial role in this process by supporting the diffusion and transfer of social protection policies. However, the role of South-South Cooperation partners cannot be underestimated. Brazil’...
Turkey in Somalia: shifting paradigms of aid
J. Stearns; G. Sucuoglu / South African Institute of International Affairs 2016
As the global development landscape continues to evolve, new and emerging actors – countries transitioning from being aid recipients to aid providers – are becoming increasingly visible on the global scene. Although the appr...