International cooperation for development is continually evolving and adapting to the global challenges that the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development tries to address. South-South Cooperation (SSC) is a form of collaboration that promotes a paradigm shift in international cooperation through an assistance framework between the countries of the South. SSC is based on various principles, among them: solidarity, respect for national sovereignty, mutual benefit, equality, mutual accountability and transparency, non-interference, and non-conditionality.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, most countries are achieving higher levels of income, but they also continue facing structural challenges. SSC is gaining strength in this region, as financial flows from the Official Development Assistance (ODA) have been drastically reduced. The case of Ecuador is no exception.

To analyse the functioning of the SSC in Ecuador, Cristina Ordóñez and Andrés Gutiérrez looked at three SSC initiatives (Ecuador – Bolivia, Ecuador – Brazil and Ecuador – El Salvador) and two North-South cooperation (NSC) initiatives (Ecuador – United States of America and Ecuador – Switzerland). All projects focused on water resources management and public safety. The study allowed us to analyse the differences in institutional arrangements between the two types of cooperation. It also gave us insight into the institutional provisions of the SSC that led certain initiatives to be more successful than others. This article presents the main findings of our study.