Is there a middle-income approach to international cooperation that differs from the approach of advanced countries? To answer this question, this paper conducts comparative case studies of Thailand and Indonesia from a public administration perspective. By examining how these countries transformed themselves from recipients to donors of aid, we argue that there is a plurality of approaches among middle-income donors that can be explained by variations in ministerial politics and the historical evolution of expertise. The paper highlights the importance of geo-political conditions that make each country a unique donor in the emerging landscape of foreign aid in Southeast Asia.
Keywords: Middle-income donors, Thailand, Indonesia, aid bureaucracy, Southeast Asia