Defining and Quantifying South-South Cooperation

Shams Banihani • 9 May 2019
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This paper developed jointly by Southern Voice think tank network and UNCTAD, explores the long-standing and controversial issue of statistics on South-South cooperation (SSC).  Statistical systems on SSC are extremely weak across the board.  The problems with measurement stem in essence from conceptual challenges with defining SSC and the political apprehensions associated with such exercises.  This paper unpacks some of the technical challenges quantifying economic and technical cooperation between developing countries and discusses some of the incentives for partner countries to improve their reporting of their SSC. 

This paper will also highlight some of the experiences, approaches and methodologies for accounting SSC which have emerged in different regions of the Global South. A number of options for a more focused definition, statistical parameters and accounting criteria for measuring South-South development finance, that can contribute to the improvement of statistics on SDG 17, and the reporting of SSC at national, regional and global levels.

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