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.

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Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow More details

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 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 Jing Gu More details

Photo of Lizbeth Navas-Aleman More details

Photo of Louise Oakley More details

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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

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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

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.


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

ER156_FrontCover

Businesses from the Rising Powers: Traditional or Progressive Development Partners for Africa?

IDS Evidence Report 156 (2015)

Expectations about the role of businesses as development actors have become almost unrecognisable from the ones summarised by Milton Friedman: ‘The only social responsibility of business is to increase its profits’ (Friedman 1970). Despite Friedman’s relative abruptness, the role of business in contributing to the overall economic growth of a given country cannot be overstated. More details

PB102_FrontCover

Do Businesses from the BRICS Contribute to Development in Africa?

IDS Policy Briefing 102 (2015)

As businesses from emerging economies become more globalised, expectations are raised about their role as responsible corporate citizens and development actors when operating in low-income countries. More details

ER147_FrontCover

Mutual Learning for Change: An Assessment of the SIA Programme of the Rising Powers Programme

IDS Evidence Report 147 (2015)

The Senior International Associates (SIA) programme is part of the Rising Powers in International Development programme at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), under which senior policy actors in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), specifically India, China and Brazil, have come to IDS to advance mutual learning since 2012. More details

ER146_FrontCover

China’s Emergence as a Global Recycling Hub – What Does it Mean for Circular Economy Approaches Elsewhere?

IDS Evidence Report 146 (2015)

This Evidence Report investigates how China’s rise as a global recycling hub affects other countries’ prospects for moving towards a circular economy. This question has received little, if any, attention in the burgeoning literature on sustainability. More details

Strengthening_Evidence_Based_Policy_2015

Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs April 2014 – March 2015

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2015)

In much writing about development, policy and practice are portrayed as if they are joined at the hip. Policy shapes practice, while learning from practice informs policy processes. In this portrayal, practice is usually understood to refer to development practice, or how development programmes and projects are implemented. More details

PB94_FrontCover

Is Indian Development Cooperation Taking a New Direction Under Modi?

IDS Policy Briefing 94 (2015)

Rising powers such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are taking independent stands and changing the discourse on development cooperation in international fora. India has played a key role in driving this, most recently contributing to the establishment of the BRICS Development Bank and being nominated to host its first presidency. More details

ER134_FrontCover

Who Drives Climate-relevant Policy Implementation in China?

IDS Evidence Report 134 (2015)

Climate change is emerging as one of the biggest challenges confronting the sustainability of our planet, affecting the development prospects of both developed and developing countries. There is a global effort to find solutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the cause of climate change, by altering patterns of socioeconomic development. More details

ER132_FrontCover

Who Drives Climate-relevant Policies in Brazil?

IDS Evidence Report 132 (2015)

In this report, the central question of our research is who drives/obstructs climate-relevant policies in Brazil, paying special attention to renewable energy policies, climate policies and politics. More details

PB93_FrontCover

National Development Banks in the BRICS: Lessons for the Post-2015 Development Finance Framework

IDS Policy Briefing 93 (2015)

In 2015, the framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be agreed. As described in the outcome document of the United Nations Rio+20 conference, The Future We Want, the mobilisation and effective use of stable, sufficient and suitable development finance must be a crucial part of this framework. More details

PB92_FrontCover

China’s Development Finance: Ambition, Impact and Transparency

IDS Policy Briefing 92 (2015)

In a context of lagging reform in the Bretton Woods institutions, China has brought the debate on its role as a rising power in global economic governance onto the front pages, notably with the divided response of ‘the West’ to membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is to be headquartered in Beijing. More details

ER128_FrontCover

Political Economy of Climate-relevant Policies: the Case of Renewable Energy in South Africa

IDS Evidence Report 128 (2015)

Integrated energy (electricity generation) policy is by no means a settled issue in the post-apartheid era in South Africa. The policy framework is predicated on the need for new and additional energy generation capacity. More details

This is the cover to IDS Rapid Reponse Briefing 9, 'Understanding The Rising Powers' Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals'.

Understanding The Rising Powers' Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 9 (2015)

Rising powers such as Brazil, India and China have been criticised for being obstructive in the negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. More details

PB91_FrontCover

Is China’s Role in African Fragile States Exploitative or Developmental?

IDS Policy Briefing 91 (2015)

China’s increasing engagement in Africa has generated heated debates over the extent to which its activities are exploitative or developmental. More details

ER116_FrontCover

China’s Engagement in International Development Cooperation: The State of the Debate

IDS Evidence Report 116 (2015)

This research aims to investigate the recent evolution of China’s discourse on development and aid. More precisely, how do China’s policymakers and influential scholars understand and debate China’s role in the field of international development aid, specifically in the context of China as a ‘rising power’? More details

ER115_FrontCover

Rising Powers in International Development: Learning Events 2014

IDS Evidence Report 115 (2015)

This report provides an overview of the objectives of and discussions held at three learning events held by the IDS Rising Powers in International Development programme in 2014. More details

ER111_FrontCover

Development Banks from the BRICS

IDS Evidence Report 111 (2015)

The BRIC acronym was created at the beginning of the 2000s to represent a group of four fast-growing economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China – and was changed to BRICS in December 2010 with the inclusion of South Africa. More details

IDS Policy Briefing 84 Front Cover

Realising the Potential of Civil Society-led South-South Development Cooperation

IDS Policy Briefing 84 (2015)

Civil Society Organisations from the BRICS countries and Mexico are leading a huge range of South-South Development Cooperation (SSDC) initiatives. More details

ER96 Front Cover

Advisory Council Seminar VI, 7 July 2014: IDS Rising Powers in International Development Advisory Council Discussion

IDS Evidence Report 96 (2014)

This document presents a summary of a discussion held on 7 July 2014 between members of the Advisory Council of the IDS Rising Powers in International Development (RPID) programme and IDS RPID staff members. The discussion was held at the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton. More details

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