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.

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.




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...


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.


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.

Recent work


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

IDS Evidence Report 218

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.

12 January 2017


Towards Mutual Learning with the Rising Powers

IDS Policy Briefing 123

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.

2 September 2016


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

IDS Policy Briefing 121

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.

10 June 2016