The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stress the importance of South-South cooperation as an important vehicle to accelerate human development in implementing the 2030 agenda. South-South and Triangular Cooperation has led to more diverse opportunities for development assistance and cooperation. It has increasingly demonstrated its contribution to development results through a variety of flexible cooperation modalities, including knowledge exchanges, technology transfers, financing, peer support, and neighborhood initiatives, as well as countries forming common development agendas and seeking collective solutions. Often under-reported and sometimes hard to quantify, the estimated value of South-South cooperation has exceeded US$20 billion in 2013 and it will continue to grow.
Yet, the potential of South-South and Triangular Cooperation to contribute towards sustainable development and poverty eradication has not been fully leveraged. Knowledge gaps and uneven access to solutions and resources are major obstacles hindering progress and the full potential of South-South cooperation and its impact on sustainable development. The availability of information and quality of research on the scale and impact of South-South and Triangular Cooperation have not kept pace with the growing demand among Southern partners for peer learning to further improve results.
In order to fully leverage South-South cooperation and maximize its impact on sustainable development, some issues need to be clarified. We need a better understanding of South-South cooperation, how it can contribute to sustainable development and what more needs to be done to scale-up and improve such cooperation for sustainable development. This paper addresses these questions and provides a framework of better understanding South-South cooperation and its role in supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda.