Rising Powers in International Development Programme

Poverty reduction in low-income countries is increasingly influenced by the rising powers, a category that includes the BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, as well as regional powers such as Mexico and Indonesia. Their importance is likely to grow still further as the financial crisis and longer-term global economic and political shifts reduce the relative weight of established donor countries such as the UK.

Chinese and African workers on the construction site of a station and railway which is part of a devlopment aid project by China in Angola in exchange for petroleum.Credit: Dieter Telemans / Panos.

The Rising Powers in International Development programme, led by IDS Fellow Jing Gu, is developing an evidence-base around the role of these countries in development and producing practical policy guidance on effective approaches for engaging with them.

There will be a particular focus on exploring these countries' contribution to global public goods, starting with a study of key sectors, such as energy, where the global public good is climate change mitigation, and examine the political and institutional drivers and barriers for action.

The programme draws on IDS' strong existing networks in rising power countries, in the research community, civil society and government, building on the work of the BRICS Initiative (est 2011), a hub of research, learning and knowledge sharing on the role of the BRICS countries in international development cooperation.

You can also sign up for our regular email updates - contact Louise Oakley.

Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow More details

IDS staff or research student More details

Photo of Anuradha Joshi, IDS researcher More details

Photo of Deepta Chopra, IDS Governance and Gender / Sexuality Research Fellow More details

Photo of Gerry Bloom, Research Fellow of the Knowledge Technology and Society team More details

Photo of Hayley MacGregor More details

Photo of Hubert Schmitz from Green Transformations Cluster More details

Photo of Jennifer Constantine More details

Photo of Jeremy Allouche, IDS research fellow More details

Photo of Jing Gu More details

Photo of Lizbeth Navas-Aleman More details

Photo of Louise Oakley More details

Photo of Mustafa Roberts, IDS More details

Rômulo Paes de Sousa, Director of the World Centre for Sustainable Development, the Rio+ Centre and Senior International Associate with the IDS Rising Powers in International Development programme More details

Photo of Rosalind Eyben More details

IDS staff or research student More details

Professor Xuilan Zhang, Senior International Associate with the Rising Powers in International Development programme and Director, Institute of Social Development and Public Policy, Beijing Normal University. More details

Advisory Council and Network Development

The RPID Programme aims to provide high-level guidance on key debates in international development policy and on how IDS and its partner organisations can best influence these debates through research and other activittes. More details

BRICS Economic Engagement Footprint Study

This project investigated the nature of economic relations between the BRICS and Africa, in order to quantify the development footprint, focusing on various elements such as trade, investment. finance, ODA and migration. The current phase aims to look at development finance and the role of BRICS development banks. More details

Russia and International Development Cooperation

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was redefined as an aid recipient, but in 2007, it officially signalled its intention to reverse this role. The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of Russia in the field of international development cooperation More details

India and International Development Cooperation

Trade and investment linkages between India and the African continent have been growing rapidly, and recently, its role providing foreign assistance has become more prominent. The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of India in the field of international development cooperation. More details

Business from the BRICS

The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of business from the BRICS countries in the field of international development cooperation. More details

China and International Development Cooperation

China is now the African continent's biggest trading partner, and also involved in a wide range of development cooperation projects including in agriculture, health and social policy. The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of China in the field of international development cooperation. More details

Civil society and the BRICS

The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of civil society from the BRICS countries in the field of international development cooperation. More details

Brazil and International Development Cooperation

Brazil is a founding member of the BRICS group, Latin America's largest economy and the world's sixth-largest economy. The Rising Powers in International Development (RPID) programme is looking at Brazil's growing role in the field of international development cooperation. More details

China-UK Cooperation on African Trade and Investment for Poverty Reduction

This IDS led project aims to evaluate changing trade and investment relations between China, and also the UK, with Kenya and South Africa and the consequences of these changes. More details

Development Studies Learning Partnership

The Development Studies Learning Partnership was created under the BRICS Initiative in 2011, and enables collaborative learning between traditional and emerging actors in development, be they academics, researchers, practitioners or policy-makers. More details

Rising Powers Young Researchers Network (RP-YOUR)

Initially bringing together PhD students and early-career researchers exploring the role of rising powers in international development from across IDS and the University of Sussex, the Rising Powers-Young Researchers Network seeks to expand within Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development global networks. More details

Who Drives Climate-Relevant Policies in the Rising Powers?

This project is concerned with the political economy analysis of climate change policies. The central question of the project is who drives/obstructs climate change policies in the rising powers, paying special attention to renewable energy policies. More details

View all Research Programme's publications

Use this search to display this programme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


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ER218_FrontCover

China–UK–Africa Trilateral Cooperation on Trade and Investment: Prospects and Challenges for Partnership for Africa’s Development

IDS Evidence Report 218 (2017)

This study was conducted in the context of the China–UK Cooperation on African Trade and Investment for Poverty Reduction. It focuses on the evolution of bilateral relations between China and the UK towards trilateral relations with Africa and on building a framework for future cooperation. More details

IDS Policy Briefing 123 Front Cover

Towards Mutual Learning with the Rising Powers

IDS Policy Briefing 123 (2016)

Mutual learning is emerging as a new way of talking about the ‘how’ of development cooperation, particularly in contexts of rapid change, with countries increasingly recognising that they have much to learn from each other’s experience. More details

Front cover of IDS Evidence Report 202

Building Mutual Learning between the Rising Powers

IDS Evidence Report 202 (2016)

This Evidence Report provides a summary account of the Mutual Learning research initiative at the Institute of Development Studies, carried out from 2012 to 2014 as part of the Rising Powers in International Development programme. More details

PB121_FrontCover

Can China’s Bold New Plans Make the Difference in Pakistan?

IDS Policy Briefing 121 (2016)

Ever since the 1955 Bandung Conference of Afro-Asian states, China has been active in civil engineering projects around the world, especially in Africa, as a sign of its commitment to the world emerging from colonialism. More details

ER196_FrontCover

A New Era for China’s Renewable Energy Development? External Shocks, Internal Struggles and Policy Changes

IDS Evidence Report 196 (2016)

As the world’s largest greenhouse gas (GHG) polluter, China’s annual emissions accounted for almost 30 per cent of the world’s total emissions in 2014 – more than the United States (15 per cent) and the European Union (10 per cent) combined. More details

ER193_FrontCover

Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development: Training Course on International Development and Global Health Strategy

IDS Evidence Report 193 (2016)

The Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development delivers intensive training courses for government officials and development professionals to explore the theories, policies and practices of international development cooperation, particularly relating to the growing role of the rising powers in global development. More details

PB119_FrontCover

Understanding the BRICS Evolving Influence and Role in Global Governance and Development

IDS Policy Briefing 119 (2016)

The BRICS Summit process was inaugurated in 2009 as a signal that the global governance system of the future would need to be constituted to reflect a politically diverse, multipolar world. At this same moment, the crisis-driven creation of the G20 Leaders forum put the evolution of such a new global governance system on fast forward. More details

PB115_FrontCover

Rising Powers, Lowering Emissions?

IDS Policy Briefing 115 (2016)

The importance of ensuring that African countries can meet their rising energy needs in a low-carbon way that also benefits the poor, is widely accepted. The so-called ‘rising powers’, such as China, Brazil and India are already investing in energy infrastructure in Africa. More details

Non-IDS publication

Imagining Agricultural Development in South–South Cooperation: The Contestation and Transformation of ProSAVANA

World Development 81 (2016)

ProSAVANA is a joint Japan–Brazil–Mozambique initiative in the savannah zone of Mozambique's Nacala Corridor region that was initially inspired by the Japan–Brazil PRODECER program in Brazil's Cerrado region More details

ER189_FrontCover

The BRICS in International Development: The New Landscape

IDS Evidence Report 189 (2016)

This Evidence Report provides a summary account of the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in shaping the current global development landscape. More details

PB113_FrontCover

What Can the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Learn from Other Development Banks?

IDS Policy Briefing 113 (2016)

Global development has reached a critical turning point. In addition to achieving middle-income status, several recipient countries are now also becoming donors and lenders to other developing countries. China in particular has rapidly expanded its development finance programme and launched new multilateral initiatives. More details

ER187_FrontCover

China as a Development Actor in Southeast Asia

IDS Evidence Report 187 (2016)

This Evidence Report identifies and explains the central factors driving China’s policies towards Southeast Asia. It examines China’s foreign relations through the perspective of foreign policy. In this context, as the title indicates, the report gathers together and evaluates the evidence on China’s role as a development actor in this neighbouring region. More details

ER184_FrontCover

Report of a High-level Roundtable on Rising Powers and Global Development, and Launch of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development

IDS Evidence Report 184 (2016)

This high-level roundtable meeting, held on 22 April 2015, was co-hosted by the Institute of Development Studies, the Development Research Center of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, and the China International Development Research Network. More details

ER180_FrontCover

Who Drives Climate-relevant Policies in the Rising Powers?

IDS Evidence Report 180 (2016)

The future of human life on our planet is influenced increasingly by what goes on in the rising powers. This report presents a political economy analysis of their policies, comparing China, India, Brazil and South Africa. More details

ER179_FrontCover

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: What Can It Learn From, and Perhaps Teach To, the Multilateral Development Banks?

IDS Evidence Report 179 (2016)

A striking phenomenon of recent global economic change is the emergence of new development actors, with alternative development experiences and development financing capacity. These actors are now creating collective institutional capacity with the aim of contributing to other countries’ development. They are also increasingly influencing the path of global development. More details

ER173_FrontCover

Civil Society from the BRICS: Emerging Roles in the New International Development Landscape

IDS Evidence Report 173 (2016)

There is a burgeoning literature on the (re)emergence of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – as significant actors in international development. To date, however, most attention has focused on the government-to-government relations established through state-led South–South Development Cooperation (SSDC) and the BRICS’ engagements in multilateral processes. More details

PB111_FrontCover

China’s Comprehensive Strategic and Cooperative Partnership with Africa

IDS Policy Briefing 111 (2016)

Convened in South Africa in December 2015, the 6th Meeting of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) culminated in the Johannesburg Action Plan under the theme ‘China–Africa Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development’. More details

ER170_FrontCover

Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development: Learning Events 2015

IDS Evidence Report 170 (2016)

This report provides an overview of the objectives of and discussions held at two learning events held by the IDS Rising Powers in International Development programme/Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development in 2015. More details

ER169_FrontCover

A Prognosis and Diagnosis for China and the 2016 G20: The Politics of a New Global Economic Geography

IDS Evidence Report 169 (2016)

The early Chinese Communist regime depicted T’ao Ch’ien as a people’s poet, an ascetic recluse who embraced poverty and a peasant’s life. In fact, he rose as high as provincial governor, and his verses about labour, poverty and gallons of wine were often metaphors. More details

ER166_FrontCover

The Role of Business in Driving and Shaping Renewable Energy Policies in China

IDS Evidence Report 166 (2016)

This report investigates the role of business actors in shaping China’s renewable energy policy process and governance. It finds that with the tremendous growth of renewable industry over the past two decades, a new government–business coalition is taking shape in China. More details

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