The first formal BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China – later to include South Africa) summit only took place in 2009, but the grouping has already sparked widespread discussion and debate. In 2011 they represented 40 percent of the world’s population, with nearly a quarter of the world’s economic output.
As well as providing a major economic force, the BRICS are increasingly demonstrating a development impact. They are increasingly providing overseas development aid and are building other forms of cooperation with low-income countries, notably technical and financial support. At the same time, some BRICS – such as China, Brazil, and India – are considered to have achieved considerable social development gains, in areas like health and social policy. These have led researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to look for ways of learning from these countries’ experiences.
This seminar brought together the two IDS fellows who are co-convening the Rising Powers in International Development Programme. Alex Shankland and Lizbeth Navas-Alemán addressed the major questions on the BRICS and development, and outlined a conceptual framework for an analysis of the developmental impact of the BRICS.
About the speakers
Alex Shankland is co-convenor of the Rising Powers in International Development Programme. He is a social scientist with over two decades’ experience of working in Brazil, Peru, Angola and Mozambique as a researcher, NGO manager and social development consultant. He has researched, taught and published extensively on rights, participation and policy, particularly in the health sector, and his doctoral thesis was on representation and health policy in the Brazilian Amazon.
Lizbeth Navas-Alemán is co-convenor of the Rising Powers in International Development. She is a socio-economist with extensive experience in the field of international development, and carries out academic research, training and consultancy on private sector development, industrial organisation and innovation in Latin America, Asia and Europe. Her clients have included the Inter-American Development Bank, ILO, Ford Foundation, UNIDO, UNDP, ITC, UNCTAD and government agencies in developing countries.