The Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development (CRPD) at IDS is a well-renowned source of expertise on South– South cooperation for addressing global challenges. Its ongoing contributions to high-level policymaking have led to the centre being asked to join the influential Think20 Africa Standing Group.
A network of more than 30 leading thinktanks from within both Africa and the G20 countries, the Think20 (T20) Africa Standing Group has informed the G20 process. Its invitation to the CRPD follows the centre’s participation in previous T20 summits – and points to the centre’s collaborative role in upcoming high-level global events.
Groundwork for UN and G20
This role has recently included the preparation of two policy briefs to inform the G20 2018 Summit on themes related to Africa’s development partnership with emerging actors, infrastructure financing and new development thinking. These briefs have been developed jointly with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the Brookings Institute and the German Development Institute.
Dr Jing Gu, who leads the CRPD, was asked to be a principal contributing author of a further report on South–South cooperation in preparation for the second UN High-Level Conference on South–
South Cooperation in 2019. The report ‘Changing Roles of South–South Cooperation in the Global Development System towards 2030’ was published by the Finance Centre for South–South Cooperation (FCSSC).
In February 2018, Dr Gu was selected to present the report at a special launch event at the OECD Development Centre in Paris. Thanks to her participation, the CRPD’s work also fed into two key preparatory meetings, with the aim of working towards a consensus agenda for action for the UN’s March 2019 conference.
Supporting North-South mutual learning
Mutual learning and building bridges with partners around North–South and South–South cooperation for international development are other aspects of recent CRPD work. In February 2018, Alex Shankland and Lidia Cabral from IDS, alongside colleagues from Brazil, convened a workshop on mutual learning and policy diffusion concerning the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The event brought together researchers from Brazil, Italy, Germany and UK universities to discuss the theory and practice of diffusion and transfer of policies, ideas and technology across the Global South. Learning from the event will be captured and shared in a new book led by CRPD researcher Dr Osmany Porto from the Federal University of Sao Paulo.
The CRPD and the IDS Health and Nutrition cluster facilitated a constructive engagement between the Chinese Academy of Social Science, the Ministry of Health and Social Enterprise and the Brighton and Hove City Council in 2017. Dr Gerry Bloom led the workshop and discussions on how health and welfare systems can adapt and innovate to meet the realities of a rapidly growing older population.
Speaking after the meeting at Brighton Town Hall the council’s chief executive, Geoff Raw, said ‘The opportunity to share knowledge with professionals facing similar challenges in China was hugely beneficial for all involved. We’re working on a series of events aiming to foster economic ties between the Greater Brighton region and China.’ The City Council has since gone on to set up a thinktank to explore innovation further.