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Building Partnerships for South-South Cooperation

By Daljeet Kaur, on 29 July 2015

Considering the increased focus on South-South Cooperation development dialogue and India’s long standing presence in assisting development in various regions of the world, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) is implementing a new model of cooperation support in India.

DFID India’s Global and National Team (GNT) is at the centre of delivering the transition from an aid-based UK-India development relationship to a mutual partnership for global development, in line with the vision set out by the Former Secretary of State in his Emerging Powers speech at Chatham House in February 2012. Enhanced policy engagement with India on national and global issues through programmes like the Knowledge Partnership will be at the heart of this transition.

The Knowledge Partnership Programme (KPP) with which I am associated as a Senior Programme Manager from the last two and half years will be completing its pilot phase in June 2016.

Women Development Group Members in Oromia region of Ethiopia

Women Development Group Members in Oromia region of Ethiopia

IPE Global, where I work, is implementing the programme on behalf of the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The programme aims to produce and disseminate high quality research and analysis products, share Indian and global evidence on policies that impact development outcomes and support advocacy towards strengthening policy design and implementation.

To date we have promoted sharing of Indian evidence, best practices and expertise with Low Income Countries in order to facilitate evidence-gathering and uptake.

Priority Areas

Since its beginning, the programme has prioritised the following areas for engagement: (a) food security, resource scarcity and climate change; (b) trade and investment; (c) health and disease control; (d) women and girls; and (e) development effectiveness.

The aim is to step up collaboration around ideas, knowledge, evidence, accountability, technology and innovation between UK, India and the developing countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. The work my team and I carry out, focuses on Indian policy and practice with the explicit intention of developing India-Global networks, strategies and sectors to promote knowledge exchange through south – south collaboration.

Recently, we were able to facilitate a partnership between, Kudumbashree, a state led mission in India and Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs Ethiopia, on the theme – women economic empowerment.

Delegates with Kudumbashree SHG members - women construction workers

Delegates with Kudumbashree SHG members – women construction workers

What can Self Help Groups contribute?

Today, the MFIs in Ethiopia are motivated to extend the frontier of financial intermediation to those traditionally excluded from conventional financial markets, the Poor, and especially the poor women. At the same time, various studies point out that the Self Help Groups (SHGs) can act as a tool for advancement and empowerment of women in India.

The microfinance movement through the SHG model in India has also been considered an effective development tool to enable women SHG members to graduate to microenterprises and in turn, to address poverty. The Indian experience of empowering marginalized women through formations of SHGs with institutional linkages and the growing demand for microfinance development in Ethiopia created an ideal situation for us, at the programme, to promote collaboration and cooperation between the two countries.

In my opinion, this India-Ethiopia alliance on SHGs represents a success story of mutual cooperation between two nations. It reiterates the potential for knowledge based cooperation and collaboration between nations in the global south to set their agenda and achieve sustainable development.

Indian SHG Group Leader and Ethiopian SHG Group Leader

Indian SHG Group Leader and Ethiopian SHG Group Leader

Progress towards SDG Goal 17

As development processes become ever more complex, I see a growing demand for knowledge and analytical products that can provide evidence and learning for policy changes and reforms. Informing and influencing policies are hence critical aspects of inter­national development and I believe, together we can bring a change by focusing on advocacy along with service delivery.

By adopting the new Sustainable Development Goals, countries are also committing towards achieving the Goal 17 – to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

More specifically, countries will promote multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources to support the SDGs. In addition, these collaborations will encourage and promote effective public, public-private, and civil society partnerships.

These two targets 17.16 and 17.17 are banking on the existing North-South cooperation and the emerging South-South, and triangular cooperation.

Ethiopia Delegates; Kudumbashree Executive Director; Chairman Dr.M.K.Muneer, Hon’ble Minister for Panchayat & Social Welfare; IPE Global Team

Ethiopia Delegates; Kudumbashree Executive Director; Chairman Dr.M.K.Muneer, Hon’ble Minister for Panchayat & Social Welfare; IPE Global Team

India’s role in the post-2015 development agenda

In the post-2015 era, India plays a critical role in sharing learnings it has accumulated in the process of gradually upgrading from a low-income to a middle-income country. I hope partnerships based on knowledge will support effective and targeted capacity building in developing countries and help achieve common objectives.

Through activities undertaken and studies supported by the programme, we hope to engage more with policymakers and key stakeholders. By providing informating their choices through evidence-based advice, we hope the effectively influence the policy environment and reforms in India.

At the same time, we through the KPP are also aiming to strengthen India-UK partnership and significantly contribute to global development opportunities across the developing world.


Daljeet Kaur has a double Master’s degree in Environment and Sustainable Development from the DPU and Environmental Planning from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She has worked as a qualified planner and an architect for more than eight years at a variety of organisations.

At present she is working as a Senior Programme Manager for the DFID funded Knowledge Partnership Programme (KPP), implemented by IPE Global. The programme has established more than 50 partnerships to date with a wide range of partners in a number of sectors, including IDS (Sussex), UNDP, FAO, and Governments of Ethiopia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Kenya and Malawi. For more information about the programme please visit www.ipekpp.com.

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