South-South and Triangular Cooperation - FAO

South-South and Triangular Cooperation - FAO

Information dated: 2017

Alexander Jones

Director a.i. Resource Mobilization and

South-South Cooperation Division (TCS)

Tel: +39 06 570 52331,

E-mail:Alexander.Jones [at] fao.org

FAO services relevant to this category relate to: (i) facilitation of South-South Cooperation (SSC) among countries of the global south; (ii) building alliances and partnerships with national and international partners; and (iii) resource mobilization in support of SSC initiatives.

The main purpose of the SSC is to bridge the knowledge gap and exchange relevant experiences among countries of the Global South in support of hunger and poverty eradication and in transitioning towards a more sustainable agriculture system. Thus far, this objective has been pursued by: (i) deploying experts and technicians from relatively advanced countries in the South; (ii) connecting SSC and Triangular Cooperation (TrC) providers with seekers; (iii) promoting SSC and TrC policy-level dialogues; and (iv) creating and enabling environment to mobilize broader partnerships and resources, as well as raise the visibility of SSC.

FAO has facilitated SSC in more than 80 countries over the past 20 years. In total, FAO has worked with close to 100 partners to support the mutual sharing and exchange of knowledge, good practices, policies and technology between and among countries in the global south. Partners play various roles, whether it involves countries sending their experts abroad, countries hosting experts from abroad or third party countries providing financial and/or technical resources to facilitate SSC exchange. FAO’s SSC partners are key to the success of the programme.

Under the current modality, the SSC experts and technicians on average serve from six months to two years in their duty station. The need for SSC is initially identified by the recipient country, which is then further analyzed and verified by a panel of experts from the participating countries and FAO. A thorough appraisal is necessary to identify technological gaps, which may be effectively bridged through experience and knowledge exchange using the SSC framework.

The FAO-SSC program has, by and large, focused on agricultural production (including crops, fishery, livestock, and forestry) and to, a lesser extent on post-harvest processing, which is a reflection of the demands received by participating countries. In some countries, for example, Mongolia, food safety and in particular meat processing and fresh meat supplies to the international market has been more emphasized. It is highly likely that demand for capacity building in developing marketing chains and standardization to access international markets will rise. Experiences and know-how from other countries in the South would be highly valuable in this regard.

The Organization is at present finalizing a strategy and plan of action to develop a more comprehensive and highly responsive framework to better serve the overall goal of contributing to hunger eradication, especially in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through the exchange of successful experiences and technical know-how. In addition to the existing SSC modality, where experts and technicians are deployed for a relatively long period of time in a recipient country, the strategy envisages a number of other modalities to exchange knowledge and experiences among participating countries of the South, such as promoting SSC knowledge networks and platforms at the institutional level and providing upstream policy support and fostering an enabling environment for effective SSC. The FAO SSC strategy has benefited from more than 20 years of experience, dialogue with international partners and member governments. The strategy also envisages that SSC is a cross-cutting issue and relevant to all of FAO’s activities and as such SSC shall be mainstreamed throughout FAO’s Program of Work where effective.

For more information: http://www.fao.org/partnerships/south-south-cooperation/en/

Strategic Alliances on South-South Cooperation (SSC)

  • In 2015, China and FAO signed a $50 million agreement to support developing countries in building sustainable food systems and inclusive agricultural value chains, recognizing the growing importance of collaboration between Southern countries in the fight against extreme hunger and poverty. China's new contribution to the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Trust Fund supports the exchange of Chinese agricultural experts with countries in the global South, particularly in low-income food deficit areas of Asia and the Pacific, Africa and Latin America, over a period of five years.
  • SSC Memorandums of Understanding have recently been signed with new countries such as Egypt (Arab Republic of), Iran (Islamic Republic of), Peru and Singapore, as well as with organizations such as the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the Chinese Academy for Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).
  • Since 2011, FAO has been facilitating knowledge sharing through South-South Cooperation (SSC) between Namibia and Viet Nam, with Spain as a triangular partner providing USD 1.8 million in financial support. Furthermore, the Government of Namibia is providing in-kind contributions amounting to USD 0.5 million. These combined efforts have enabled eight Vietnamese experts to support aquaculture development in the country and provide on the job training to Namibian staff from the Inland Aquaculture Centres (IACs).
  • In Malawi, irrigation engineers from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar helped their national counter- parts to develop and disseminate irrigation technologies among smallholder farmers. They included the use of water diversion techniques and materials which were previously unknown to the farmers, and which helped to improve water flow and reclaim flooded areas.
  • Trough FAO, the Government of Venezuela (the Bolivarian Republic of) has provided financial support for sustainable rice production in ten Sub-Saharan African countries.
  • FAO and the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation for Development, AMEXCID, signed a "Mesoamerica without Hunger" South-South Cooperation agreement, with the aim of moving towards the eradication of malnutrition in Central America, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia, with a $ 15 million dollar budget.
  • FAO and the Government of Brazil are harnessing what worked for Brazil and supporting School Feeding Initiatives across the Southern World. This SSC Initiative focuses on sharing Brazilian knowledge, technical know-how, policies and practices for school feeding with 14 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia. Through this initiative, technical support and experience are being exchanged with each of the countries concerned, engaging more than 5200 qualified experts. Over 26 000 school children receive a daily healthy meal, and the nutritional status of children and school attendance rates have improved. The SCC programme started in 2009 and will run until the end of 2017.

Other developments:

In 2015, FAO launched the South-South Cooperation (SSC) Gateway, an on-line platform designed to share information about the wide range of food and agriculture institutions and expertise in the global South. Countries are invited to nominate their national institutions, according to a technical field. In some cases, a roster of experts associated with each institution is also provided. The Gateway is intended to facilitate engagement in South-South and Triangular Cooperation, directly between countries, institutions or through FAO. As a service for Member countries, the Gateway enables member countries to engage in SSC directly, and it also allows those interested to identify Southern technical expertise for FAO programmes and projects.

For more information on the South-South Cooperation (SSC) Gateway: http://www.fao.org/south-south-gateway/en/