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December 24, 2014

United Nations 'Global South-South Development Expo 2014'
Discussions focused on the role and potential of South-South and triangular cooperation in the new framework of the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The 7th UN Global South-South Development Expo was held Nov. 17-21, 2014, at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C.

Organized annually since 2008 by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), this global event aims for the promotion and development of South-South and triangular cooperation in the international community.

With the approach of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline, when UN member states are expected to adopt a new global development agenda, this year’s expo focused on how South-South and triangular cooperation should contribute to the new development goals, and how their effective approaches should be scaled up.

JICA has supported the Global and Regional South-South Development Expo since its first session by co-organizing with UNOSSC the “High-Level Forum of Directors-General for Development Cooperation,” which took place Nov. 20. Directors-general, or their equivalent, of cooperation ministries and agencies from developing and developed countries and representatives from international organizations participated in this forum to exchange opinions on policies, strategy and resource mobilization for promoting South-South and triangular cooperation. On the theme of “South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the Post-2015 Global Partnership for Sustainable Development,” information on selected successful experiences was presented that have been contributing to MDGs and will contribute to the Post-2015 development agenda, and the participants discussed preconditions, mechanisms and partnerships required to scale up these good practices.

What is necessary for scaling up: Knowledge, institutional arrangement and capacity development

photoKunio Okamura, JICA senior special advisor, delivers opening remarks.

At the opening ceremony of the high-level forum, JICA Senior Special Advisor to the President Okamura Kunio made a speech, along with an envoy of the secretary-general on South-South Cooperation and the director of the UNOSSC and the president of the United Nations General Assembly High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation (permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations). In it, he stressed the importance of knowledge, institutional arrangement and capacity development for scaling up, referring to JICA Research Institute’s working paper entitled “Scaling Up South-South and Triangular Cooperation” (October 2012), which is available below.

(i) Knowledge: to refine a “raw” development experience of one country into knowledge that is ready to be disseminated to other countries;
(ii) Institutional Arrangements: a mechanism for matching supply and demand, the establishment of a “center of excellence” that can serve as a knowledge base and a space for mutual learning among all actors, and supportive partnerships with international, regional, or bilateral organizations;
(iii) Capacity Development: the development of a national strategy and plan for South-South and triangular cooperation, or the establishment of a coordination mechanism between national stakeholders.

Good practice where regional and bilateral organizations support a regional initiative: Chagas disease prevention throughout Central America

During the panel discussion held on the theme “South-South and Triangular Cooperation Initiatives that contribute to MDGs and Post-2015 Development Agenda,” representatives from China, Honduras, India, Mexico and Qatar presented information on their good practices in South-South and triangular cooperation. María del Carmen Nasser de Ramos, vice minister of International Cooperation of Honduras, spoke about the Chagas Disease Project, implemented by the Honduran government and other Central American countries under collaboration with JICA and regional or bilateral organizations. The vice minister expressed gratitude for JICA’s contributions over the years, and identified factors that have enabled the project to make significant results throughout the region: identification of good practices of each country in Chagas disease prevention by Central American countries’ health officers, elaboration and distribution of a handbook for other countries’ use, and support from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), JICA and other bilateral development agencies that have been collaborating to promote the initiatives of these countries.

The importance of knowledge management for scaling up South-South cooperation

photoKoji Yamada, senior advisor to the Director-General of Operations Strategy Department of JICA

The second panel discussion focused on preconditions and tools required to scale up South-South and triangular cooperation. One of the panelists, Koji Yamada, senior advisor to the director-general of the Operations Strategy Department of JICA, pointed out challenges in South-South cooperation, such as an asymmetric information problem between the providers and beneficiaries. Moreover, he stressed that in order to make use of knowledge acquired from development experience in the countries of the global South in favor of another country (beneficiary country), an appropriate process is needed to contextualize the knowledge of beneficiary countries. He also highlighted the important role played by JICA and other international development agencies to overcome these challenges. He presented JICA’s Knowledge Management Network, an initiative aimed at enhancing knowledge management.

photoHajime Takeuchi, chief representative of the JICA USA Office, second from left, and Mami Yamada Sakurai, right, assistant director for Partnership and Triangular Cooperation, UNOSSC (an expert dispatched by JICA)

The third and last panel discussion was moderated by Hajime Takeuchi, chief representative of the JICA USA Office, with participation from Argentina, Thailand, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP). The discussion focused on the way to strengthen the partnership with various institutions (UN agencies, civil society, private sector, etc.) to scale up South-South and triangular cooperation.

Triangular cooperation among Japan, Brazil and Angola, for the improvement of the health system in Angola

photoIsilda Maria Neves Simões, head of the Public Health Department, Provincial Directorate of Health in Luanda of Angola, left, and Yiping Zhou, Envoy of Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and Director of UNOSSC, right

At the “Global Health Scaling Up Session,” a meeting on health issues held Nov. 19, Angola’s government officials made a presentation on “the Project for Strengthening the Health System through Human Resources Development in Josina Machel Hospital and other Health Facilities and Revitalization of Primary Health Care in Angola (ProFORSA),” a technical cooperation project implemented by government of Angola, in cooperation with JICA and Brazil. This project has been selected as an innovative policy and project in this sector. Isilda Maria Neves Simões, head of the Public Health Department, Provincial Directorate of Health in Luanda of Angola, gave a presentation on the project’s results, such as an improvement in the internal management of health units (with support from Brazil) and the introduction of a mother and child health handbook (with support from Japan).

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