Regional technical workshop in preparation for BAPA+40 Perspectives and experiences in measuring South-South cooperation, 12-13 February 2019


Draft Concept Note

(last update 04/02/2019)

Regional technical meeting in preparation for BAPA+40

Perspectives and experiences in measuring South-South cooperation




In the past two decades, South-South cooperation (SSC) has grown dramatically in both volume and geographic reach, manifesting itself through a variety of approaches, modalities and instruments used by developing countries and development partners. SSC is now widely acknowledged as an important contributor to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals globally and regionally.


The Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA), adopted at the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation between Developing Country (TCDC) in 1978 in Buenos Aires, has become an important blue print for the promotion of SSC, particularly with regards to capacity development, knowledge exchange and technology transfer between developing countries.


In parallel, the portion of economic cooperation between developing countries has also intensified in recent decades, particularly in the areas of trade, investment and development finance, expanding SSC to include blended finance and partnerships between public and private actors. These have all been important features of some of the Asian models and approaches to SSC.


One of the challenges is accounting these vast flows of human, financial, knowledge and technological transfer between developing countries, and reporting on their impact for the achievement of sustainable development.. Southern partners do not subscribe to a common definition and reporting parameters for SSC. Measurement efforts are further challenged by the lack of common conceptual framework, shared standards and consistent recording.


To ensure effective implementation of Agenda 2030, a “data revolution” is now required, including the improvement of information on SSC and its contribution to national, regional and global development. Representatives of the G77 (December 2015) have called upon Southern think-tanks and the United Nations to work together to improve statistics on SSC. Among the areas that the UN Development Cooperation Forum (UNDCF, 2017) has identified for further work in the lead-up to BAPA+40 is “systematization of data and information on SSC”.


While Latin America has made significant advances in measuring and reporting technical cooperation (SEGIB 2017[1], CEPAL, 2017[2], ABC 2016[3], AMEXCID, 2016[4]), major gaps still exist in the quantification of economic cooperation between developing countries in other regions.


Asia-Pacific is a diverse region with varying degree and mode of engagement in development cooperation. Several low-income countries have recently graduated to middle-income countries and have joined other emerging economies as providers of South-South and triangular cooperation, while at the same time they continue to be the recipients of development cooperation from other countries. Assessing the impact of trade facilitation, private investment and lines of credit, and separating the commercial/export element from the developmental function, is a specific challenge particularly for South-South and triangular cooperation partners in Asia and the Pacific.


By improving their data systems around SSC, developing countries can better showcase the contributions of the SSC  to other developing countries, in order to complement their ongoing national reporting endeavours around the SDGs. Nonetheless, as Regional Consultation on South-South Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, UN Office for South-South Cooperation and the Government of Thailand in June 2018, also highlighted, issues such as definition and measurement of South-South cooperation are subjects of further discussion and research agenda.




As preparations for BAPA+40 Conference are underway, including Regional Consultation on South-South Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific[5] and the launch of the Asia-Pacific Directors General Forum for South-South and Triangular cooperation[6], the meeting will complement the discussion at these forums. Specifically, the workshop will provide for SSC partners in the Asia-Pacific region an opportunity to exchange approaches and experiences towards defining, quantifying and reporting SSC. The outcome of the workshop will provide concrete proposals to the BAPA+40 Conference on how SSC statistics can be improved to better capture SSC’s important contribution to the SDGs and to national development efforts.




UNDP, UNOSSC, UN-ESCAP, Southern Voice (SV), Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST), Reality of Aid Network (RoA)




Technical experts and representatives from governments, civil society, academia, private foundations, multilateral institutions engaged in the promotion of South-South cooperation.


Date: 12 February 2019


Location: United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand




Draft Programme


Day 1

08.00 – 09.00 Arrival and registration


09.00 – 10.30 Welcome by co-hosts


Introductions and objectives

of the meeting


Methodology and approach to the workshop



Setting the scene: political context and preparations for BAPA+40


Mr. Adnan Aliani, UN-ESCAP

Mr. Artemy Izmitev, UNDP SPC




Prof. Neissan Besharati,

SSC Consultant



– Mr. Patricio Kingsland, Deputy Head of Mission. of Argentina to Thailand

– Mr. Denis Nkala, UNOSSC





10:30 -10:50 Coffee break
10:50 – 12.30  

Improving statistics on South-South cooperation in the context of SDG reporting: experiences from other regions




Chair: Batbayar Dorjpalam, Government of Mongolia



Dr. Steve MacFaley. UNCTAD

Ms. Silvia Lopez Cabana, SEGIB

Prof. Karin Vasquez, CALACS




12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break


13:30 – 15:00




Conceptual frameworks for economic and technical cooperation: Chinese, Indian and other Asian models




Chair: Priyanto,

Government of Indonesia



Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, RIS, India

Prof. Li Xiaoyun, CCSSCA, China

Ms. Mia Mikic, ESCAP Trade, Innovation and Investment Division.

Representative from South Centre (tbc)




15:00 – 15:20 Coffee break
15:20 – 16:50  

South-South development finance: measuring concessionality in credit lines and other lending instruments




Chair: Meas Rathmony,

Government of Cambodia



Dr. Deb Bhattarchaya, CPD, Bangladesh

Representative of ADB (tbc)

Prof. Zhang Chuanhong, CCSSCA, China




16:50 – 17:00  

Wrap up of the day, announcements and preparations for next day.



Co-hosts and

workshop facilitator



08.00 – 09.00 Arrivals & Welcome Coffee


09.00 – 10.30  

Capturing investments by private sector and non-state actors in South-South cooperation




Chair: Hataichanok Siriwadhakul,

Thailand International Cooperation Agency



Ms. Lyn Pano, Reality of Aid,Philippines

Ms. Anthea Mulakala, Asia Foundation

Mr. Tom Beloe, UNDP Regional Centre




10:30 -10:50 Coffee break



Harmonization with statistics of North-South cooperation and Trilateral cooperation



Chair: Nobuko Kajiura,

ESCAP East Asia Office



Representative from JICA (tbc)

Ms. Gemma van Halderen, ESCAP Statistics Division

Representative from KOICA (tbc)





12:20 – 13:00


Way forward for BAPA+40:

Technical proposals for defining, quantifying and reporting SSC

in the SDG Era



Closure by co-hosts


Facilitator: Prof. Neissan Besharati,

SSC Consultant




Mr. Denis Nkala , UNOSSC

Mr. Artemy Izmestiev, UNDP SPC

Mr. Adnan Aliani, UN-ESCAP


13:00 – 14:00 Lunch & Departures




[1] Ibero-Americal General Secretariat (2017) Report on South-South Cooperation in Ibero-America 2017

[2] Economic Commission for Latin American and the Carribean (2016), Grupo de tareas

cuantificación de la cooperación Sur-Sur (CSS)


[3] Brazilian Agency of Cooperation (2017) Paths for Developing South-South Cooperation Monitoring and Evaluation Systems

[4] Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (2016). REGISTRO NACIONAL DE COOPERACIÓN INTERNACIONAL PARA EL DESARROLLO (RENCID).


[5] co-organized by ESCAP, UN Office for South-South Cooperation and the Government of Thailand from 27-29 June 2018, Bangkok, Thailand.

[6] Special session was held on 27 November 2018 in New York on the side of Global South-South Development Expo 2018