Rising Powers in International Development Programme

The global economy is rapidly changing. Economic power is increasingly shifting from North America and Europe to China, India, Brazil and other emerging economies. At the same time, poverty remains endemic in many parts of the developing world. Global challenges such as climate change and resource scarcity are shaping the way countries manage their own economies and interact with others.

Accountant counting a bundle of 100 Yuan bank notes.Credit: Mark Henley / Panos

The impacts of the financial crisis are being felt around the world, placing global financial systems under increased scrutiny and raising questions about regulation and reform.

Sustainable and equitable economic growth is more important than ever. Achieving this requires countries to reach out to broader markets through trade, and to create the right domestic environment to stimulate investment and innovation. They also need to ensure that external relationships contribute as much as possible to domestic growth and development, and that the benefits of development are shared fairly.

IDS works on a range of issues concerning economy and finance, including:

  • Trade and growth – we are analysing trends in global trade and regionalisation of the global economy using quantitative analysis and economic modelling.
  • Sustainability and the green economy – we are seeking to understand how investment in low-carbon technologies can help countries grow sustainably, and how this investment could be increased.
  • Finance and infrastructure – we are examining the impact of Development Finance Institutions support for Private Participation in Infrastructure on economic growth and poverty reduction.
  • Private capital flows – we are mapping changes in capital flows, and linking this to development impacts.
  • Climate change finance – we are exploring how to mobilise and distribute finance that helps countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • Environmental taxation – we are exploring the links between environmental taxation and international development outcomes.
  • Business innovation and branding – we are examining how businesses in China and Brazil are growing their innovation and branding capabilities.

Assessing the Tobin Tax

The current financial crisis has stirred up an old debate about whether it might make sense to impose a Tobin Tax, either on foreign exchange transactions or on all financial transactions. 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

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

Codes and Standards and Development Finance

Using case studies of Brazil and India, this work looked at the impact on development finance of compliance with international codes and standards. More details

Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (ELLA)

Evidence and Lessons from Latin America' (ELLA) is a knowledge sharing and learning programme, that seeks to improve knowledge of Latin America's development among African and Asian policymakers, practitioners and researchers - on selected economic, environmental and governance issues. More details

Handbook of Financialization

Financialization has become the go-to term for scholarship that studies the vastly expanded role of finance in contemporary politics, economy and society. The goal of this handbook is to provide a comprehensive overview of the scholarship on financialization as it stands today, almost twenty years after the concept was first embraced by social scientists More details

International Architecture for Economic Shock Financing

This project examined the international architecture of economic shock financing and provided some recommendations for a better shock financing architecture. More details

Linking Participation and Economic Advancement

In this project, IDS will draw upon and expand its rich experience at the forefront of thinking about participation in development, and our emerging work at the intersection of participation and markets. We will co-create along with the Economic Advancement Program (EAP) at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), a deeper understanding of participation in economic advancement in general, as well as how EAP can bring participatory approaches into its own practice. More details

Political Economy of Low Carbon Investment in China and India

This project investigates whether and how coalitions of public, private and civic actors influence low carbon investment. More details

Research on the Poverty Impact of Market and Enabling Business Environment Programmes in Kenya

To what extent does private sector development work in Kenya contribute to a reduction in poverty and inequality? This review aims to assess the evidence base for DFID Kenya’s Wealth Creation Pillar programming. More details

UNU-WIDER Symposium on Taxation & Revenue Mobilisation in Developing Countries consultancy

Bruno Martorano will be conducting research on the topic of ‘Tax Changes and Inequality in Latin America, 1990-2010’ 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.

ER95 Front Cover

Indian Development Cooperation: the State of the Debate

IDS Evidence Report 95 (2014)

In this changing landscape, India is becoming an important player . India’s increased volume of development cooperation or DC (particularly to African countries), its clearer articulation of a rejection of ‘traditional’ aid principles, and its growing role as a representative of emerging economies that aim to act as a bridge between the North and South have led to it becoming a key figure in shaping the future of international DC. How is this new role being perceived domestically? More details


Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs November 2012 – March 2014

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2014)

Knowledge and evidence are important elements of all policy processes. While the availability of more or higher quality evidence does not guarantee better policy processes, it is difficult to imagine how development policy and outcomes can be improved without it. More details

ER93 Front Cover

Senior International Associate Report (Ambuj Sagar): Meeting Multiple Energy Challenges: Lessons from India

IDS Evidence Report 93 (2014)

The Rising Powers in International Development (RPID) programme includes a provision for drawing on the experience of senior policymakers and policy advisers. This ‘Senior International Associates’ scheme is an effective way of injecting policy experience from the Rising Powers directly into the work of the RPID. More details

ER91 Front Cover

Rising Powers in International Development: the State of the Debate in South Africa

IDS Evidence Report 91 (2014)

South Africa occupies an interesting position in the international development debate. On the one hand, as Africa’s most developed, diversified and, until recently, largest economy representing close to one-third of sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), it is an active player in numerous global governance and development fora. More details

ER88 Front Cover

The Russian Federation’s International Development Assistance Programme: A State of the Debate Report

IDS Evidence Report 88 (2014)

Russia is unique among emerging donors for being a ‘re-emerging’ donor: the Soviet Union was one of the largest donor countries in the world, and Russia’s period as an aid recipient was relatively brief. Russian development cooperation is driven by key security and economic priorities, as well as resulting from commitments made to multilateral organisations. More details

PB70 Front Cover

Learning from India's Development Cooperation

IDS Policy Briefing 70 (2014)

In recent years, India has substantially increased the levels of its development cooperation. It has streamlined its development cooperation activities and put the principles of South-South Cooperation, including respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, non-conditionality and mutual benefit, into action. More details

This is the cover image for the IDS Bulletin, 'China and International Development: Challenges and Opportunities'.

China and International Development: Challenges and Opportunities

IDS Bulletin 45.4 (2014)

In parallel to its domestic economic boom, China has grown increasingly active and influential on the international stage, including in global development. China’s re-emergence on the global stage is both a cause and a symptom of the fundamental sea change now affecting development assistance and policy. More details

PB69 Front Cover

Five Fingers or One Hand? The BRICS in Development Cooperation

IDS Policy Briefing 69 (2014)

The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are increasingly prominent in development cooperation activities in low-income countries in Africa and worldwide, presenting a potential alternative to the development aid model of traditional donors. More details

PB66 Front Cover

Building Mutual Understanding for Effective Development

IDS Policy Briefing 66 (2014)

In recent years a number of countries, referred to collectively as the rising powers, have achieved rapid economic growth and increased political influence. In many cases their experience challenges received wisdom on inclusive development. More details

ER59 Front Cover

Brazil's Engagement in International Development Cooperation: The State of the Debate

IDS Evidence Report 59 (2014)

The international development cooperation architecture has changed dramatically over the last decade. The global context, characterised by a lingering financial crisis and the emergence of new powers, has brought South–South Development Cooperation (SSDC) to the core of international development debate. More details

PB64 Front Cover

Understanding South Africa’s Role in Achieving Regional and Global Development Progress

IDS Policy Briefing 64 (2014)

As Africa’s most diversified, developed and (until recently) largest economy, South Africa occupies a unique position in the international development debate. It is an active player in global governance and development fora, maintains an extensive development partnership with its region, and is a member of the BRICS Forum of emerging powers (along with Brazil, Russia, India and China). More details

PB59 Front Cover

Beyond the New Deal: Global Collaboration and Peacebuilding with BRICS Countries

IDS Policy Briefing 59 (2014)

Development in fragile and conflict-affected contexts is both complex and contested. The New Deal for Engagement with Fragile States, endorsed by 35 countries and six organisations, is the current focus of efforts to harmonise aid approaches. More details

PB56 Front Cover

Brazil’s International Development Cooperation at a Crossroads

IDS Policy Briefing 56 (2014)

The IDS Rising Powers in International Development programme has launched a series of studies of key issues and debates on international development cooperation in BRICS countries, working with leading specialists from each country. This brief outlines the key findings of the ‘State of the Debate’ report on Brazil’s development cooperation policy. More details

PB55 Front Cover

The BRICS and the International Development System: Challenge and Convergence?

IDS Policy Briefing 55 (2014)

The sustained growth of rising powers, including the grouping known as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is reshaping global governance arrangements. Annual BRICS summits and inter-ministerial meetings seek to reform existing international financial and economic institutions and promote a multipolar system of global order. More details

ER 58 Front Cover

The BRICS and the International Development System: Challenge and Convergence?

IDS Evidence Report 58 (2014)

The ‘BRICs’ acronym, in its most common usage, derives from a report to investors by Goldman Sachs’ analyst Jim O’Neill, signalling the new dynamic that four large countries; Brazil, Russia, India and China, were bringing to the global economy at the beginning of the new millennium. More details

Policy Briefing 53

Promoting Greater Cooperation Between Russia and OECD Donors

IDS Policy Briefing 53 (2014)

Russia is unique amongst the BRICS group for being a ‘re-emerging’ donor. The USSR was one of the largest donor countries in the world. After a relatively brief period as a net aid recipient during the 1990s, Russia has once again become a significant provider of development assistance. More details

ER 56 Front Cover

Who Shapes Climate Action in India? Insights from the Wind and Solar Energy Sectors

IDS Evidence Report 56 (2014)

Within this paper, we specifically take an actor-centred perspective – focusing on players not just within the government but also private sector and civil society – to better understand the influence of such actors in shaping climate change action within India. Through this analysis, we aim to explore the underlying domestic political economy as well as the international linkages shaping climate action. More details

This is the cover for IDS Evidence Report 50, 'Advisory Council Seminar 3, 20 March 2013: IDS Rising Powers in International Development Advisory Council Discussion'.

Advisory Council Seminar 3, 20 March 2013: IDS Rising Powers in International Development Advisory Council Discussion

IDS Evidence Report 50 (2014)

This document presents a summary of a discussion held on 20 March, 2013 between five members of the Advisory Council of the IDS Rising Powers in International Development (RPID) programme and three IDS RPID staff members. More details

Image teaser for ER45

Does China's Economic Rise Help or Hinder the Development of its Neighbours?

IDS Evidence Report 45 (2013)

With its huge size, vast low-cost labour force, and deep industrial foundation, China has become a major producer of a wide range of manufactured goods. More details

The Economic Engagement Footprint of Rising Powers in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Economic Engagement Footprint of Rising Powers in sub-Saharan Africa: Trade, FDI and Aid Flows

IDS Evidence Report 43 (2013)

Estimates suggest that over the last decade both trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) from emerging economies to Africa ballooned. More details

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