Solution Forum 11

Research on SSC in the Context of the SDGs

Coordinator: UNDP

Date: 2 November 2016

Time: 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


I. Background

The world has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an agenda calling for a new and inclusive global partnership, of which SSC and TrC forms an integral part. Goal 17 “Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”, in particular, places emphasis on the critical role of SSC and TrC in achieving this ambitious development agenda. It places emphasis on the need to enhance knowledge sharing through improved coordination among existing mechanisms.1 The Addis Ababa Action Agenda further noted the importance of strengthening SSC and TrC all in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development.

South-South and triangular cooperation (SSC and TrC) has increasingly demonstrated its contribution to development results through a variety of flexible cooperation modalities, including knowledge exchanges, technology transfers, financing, peer support, and neighbourhood initiatives, as well as countries forming common development agendas and seeking collective solutions. Yet, the potential of SSC and TrC to contribute towards sustainable development and poverty eradication has not been fully leveraged. Knowledge gap and uneven access to solutions, expertise and resources are major obstacles hindering progress and the full realization of the SSC potential and its impact on sustainable development.

It is the think tanks from the Global South who can best address the knowledge gap in SSC, in collaboration with the North. As public policy research, analysis and engagement organizations, Think Tanks can play a vital role in the political and policy arenas at the local, national, and global levels and assist governments in understanding and making informed choices about issues of domestic and international concerns. Thus, they can strategically champion the thought leadership on SSC and TrC.

In this context, in 2014, during the Global South-South Development Expo, UNDP organized a partnership forum entitled “South-South and Triangular Cooperation: Emerging Opportunities for Think Tanks” which brought together over 21 think tanks from the North and South to define a common research agenda on SSC. This consultation process helped create a space to exchange opinions across sectors, countries and regions, especially within the think tank community interested in SSC and TrC policy research. The discussions at the forum revealed that the new development agenda offers emerging ideas for research and great opportunities for SSC and TrC.

In 2015, as a follow-up to this event and to the continuous consultations with Southern Think Tanks, UNDP SSC and TrC Team launched a global “Call for research proposals” on priority topics on SSC identified during the forum to inform policy makers and governments in implementing the 2030 Development Agenda. In 2016, additional studies were added to these studies as a result of the collaboration between UNDP and the Network of Southern Think Tanks.

The purpose of these studies were to produce analytical papers that explore the potential contribution of South-South and Triangular Cooperation to the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and monitoring and evaluation frameworks and methodologies for SSC and TrC. The following research studies will be presented and disseminated at the Forum:

  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanisms for South-South and Triangular Development Cooperation
  2. Advancing South-South cooperation in education and skills development: lessons from the field (Africa-Brazil-India)
  3. Brazilian Triangular Cooperation in Social Protection: Contribution to the 2030 Agenda
  4. Concessional Financial Flows among Southern Countries: Conceptualising Design Principles, Operational Modalities and Assessment Framework

Additionally, during the Forum, the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), which is a joint initiative between UNDP and the Government of Brazil that promotes South-South dialogue on innovative development policies, will present its work on Strengthening the Institutional Capacities of African governments for Monitoring the SDGs through SSC..


II. Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective of the Solution-forum is to officially launch the findings of research studies on SSC & TrC priority topics selected and conducted by think tanks from the South and identify some follow up research topics. The expected outcomes are as follows:

  • Inform SSC and TrC practitioners and development partners about the findings of the four research papers;
  • Present research findings undertaken by IPC-IG in order to foster SSC and TrC
  • Discuss and collect experts’ feedback on the highlights of the researches;
  • Share perspectives on each research and priority topics

III. Target audience (40 people)

The forum will be open to 40 participants including representatives from think tank networks, governments, development agencies, civil society organizations and private sector.

Draft Agenda (tentative)

11:00 - 11:05 Opening Remarks Mr. Tegegnework Gettu, United Nations Under- Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator
11:05 - 11:10 Introduction of Panelists and Review of Priority Topics Dr. Simona Marinescu, Director of Development Impact Group, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP, New York (moderator)
11:10 - 11:20 Brazilian Triangular Cooperation in Social Protection: Contribution to the 2030 Agenda Ms. Bianca Suyama, Executive coordinator of the South- South Cooperation Research and Policy Centre (Articulação SUL), Brazil
11:20 - 11:30 Advancing South-South Cooperation in Education and Skills Development: Lessons from the Field Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez, Advisor in international cooperation for development, non-resident Fellow at the Brazilian Center for International Relations, Professor and Assistant Dean for Global Engagement at O. P. Jindal University, India
11:30 - 11:40 Concessional Financial Flows Among Southern Countries: Conceptualizing Design Principles, Operational Modalities and Assessment Framework Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh
11:40 - 11:50 Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanisms for South-South and Triangular Cooperation: Lessons from Brazil for the Post-2015 Agenda Ms. Melissa Pomeroy, Programme Coordinator, the South- South Cooperation Research and Policy Centre (Articulação SUL), Brazil
11:50 - 12:00 Strengthening the Institutional Capacities of African Governments for Monitoring the SDGs through South-South Cooperation Ms. Mariana Balboni, Senior Project Manager, Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), UNDP
12:00 - 12:20 Open Discussion Dr. Simona Marinescu, Director of Development Impact Group, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
12:20 - 12:30 Forward Looking Dr. Simona Marinescu, Director of Development Impact Group, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP

Biographies of Speakers and Panelists

Mr. Tegegnework Gettu was appointed by the Secretary-General as United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 1 December 2015. Mr. Gettu previously served as the Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management from 10 June 2013 to 30 November 2015.

Mr. Gettu has had a long and distinguished career at UNDP, previously serving as Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa from 2009 to May 2013, where he provided overall leadership in development work and shaped UNDP’s engagement and corporate strategic direction in the region. Prior to that, he was the Chief of Staff to UNDP’s Administrator and Director of UNDP’s Executive Office from 2006 to 2009, a position in which he performed strategic functions at the core of UNDP’s global operations.

Mr. Gettu also served as UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria from 2003 to 2006, as Acting Resident Representative in Sierra Leone and Liberia from 1997 to 1999, and also as Country Director for Southern and Eastern African countries and Indian Ocean countries in the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa. He was also the Programme Manager and Deputy Director for the Structural Adjustment Advisory Team for Africa stationed in Zimbabwe while working as Senior Economist covering eastern and southern Africa from 1989 to 1997.

Prior to joining the United Nations system, Mr. Gettu was a fellow at Columbia University, Assistant Professor and Lecturer at the University of Rochester, at Hunter College (both in New York), and lecturer at Addis Ababa University (in Ethiopia). He has also worked in the Ethiopian Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and the private sector. Mr. Gettu holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in Politics and Economics, and International Relations from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Development Administration from Addis Ababa University. He also has a certificate in African Studies from Columbia University.

Dr. Simona Marinescu is currently the Director of the Development Impact Group in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) in UNDP HQ. Before Joining BPPS, Dr. Marinescu was the Director, UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD). Prior to this assignment, Dr. Marinescu served as the UNDP Iraq Senior Economist and Programme Director for the multi-agency Private Sector Development Programme assisting the Government of Iraq and its social partners on structural reforms for inclusive market building in a complex post conflict environment. Projects included thecorporatization of State Owned Enterprises, SME development, investment promotion and the launch of the UN Global Compact in Iraq. She also served as USAID Economic Governance Sector Lead for Social Safety Net and Pension Reforms in Iraq, and as World Bank Social Protection Expert in the Human Development Unit for MENA Region. Dr. Marinescu also served as Minister Secretary of State for Labor and Social Protection in Romania during a time of major socio-economic transformations that preceded the country's integration in the European Union. She was formerly elected Senator and served as President of the Labor and Social Affairs Committee in the Senate of Romania.

Ms. Marinescu holds an MBA in International Relations and a PhD in Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies ASE Bucharest, a Diploma in Leadership from Harvard University and a Certificate in Modern Labor Market Administration from Cyprus International Institute of Management. She was the editor in chief of two national newspapers specialized in labor market and social affairs.

Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez is Assistant Dean for Global Engagement and Assistant Professor at O.P. Jindal University in New Delhi, India. She is also non-resident Fellow at the Brazilian Center for International Relations, member of the Latin American Council on Social Sciences Working Group in South-South cooperation and member of the Network of Southern Think- Tanks. Her research focuses on the contribution of BRICS countries to sustainable development and global governance through South-South and triangular cooperation. Prof. Vazquez has published internationally and ranks among the top social media influencers worldwide connecting the public with the UN. She has vast experience in policy-oriented research, strategic advisory and management of multi-million development programs in Multilateral Development Banks and International Organizations like the World Bank and UNDP. Prof. Vazquez is a career civil servant on leave from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she assisted development cooperation initiatives in Africa and Latin America. She holds a Masters in Economic and Political Development (Columbia University) and in International Comparative Politics (University of Brasilia).

Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, a macroeconomist and public policy analyst, is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) – a globally reputed think-tank in Bangladesh – where he had been earlier its first Executive Director. He was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the WTO, UN Office, and other international organizations in Geneva and Vienna. He was the Special Adviser on LDCs to the Secretary General, UNCTAD. Earlier, he had been a Senior Research Fellow at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

He currently chairs two global networks, viz. Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals – a network of 49 thinks tanks from Africa, Asia and Latin America, which serves as an open platform for discussions on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related issues; and the LDC IV Monitor – a partnership of eight development organizations seeking to provide an independent assessment of the delivery of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for the LDCs. He also serves in the boards and working groups of a number of national, regional, and international development organizations and networks, and in the editorial board of reputed journals. He has published extensively on pro-poor macroeconomics; post-2015 international development agenda; trade, investment and finance; and issues related to the LDCs. He holds a PhD in Economics from Plekhanov National Planning Institute, Moscow and had been a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford. He held a number of visiting positions including Senior Fulbright Fellow at the Centre for Global Development (CGD), Washington DC.

Ms. Melissa Pomeroy holds a PhD in Political Science from the Institute of Government and Public Policy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a specialization in Participation and Sustainable Development from the same university. In 2011, she collaborated with the creation of the South-South Cooperation Research and Policy Centre (Articulação SUL), a Brazilian research and policy center focused in South-South Cooperation, where she is currently the program coordinator and editor of the Brazilian and the South Observatory. Previous working experience includes São Paulo’s Participatory Budget, the International Observatory of Participatory Democracy and the Institute ofGovernment and Public Policy, both based in Barcelona.

Ms. Bianca Suyama is the executive coordinator of the South-South Cooperation Research and Policy Centre (Articulação SUL) since 2011. Before co-founding Articulação SUL, Bianca spent 5 years at CARE International UK as the Latin America and later Africa Governance Advisor, where she also led CARE’s advocacy efforts on aid/development effectiveness. Prior to this she worked for São Paulo’s city hall in the Participatory Budget Secretariat and as a popular educator in grassroots organizations. Bianca has a MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has worked and published on democratic governance, poverty reduction policy processes and south-south cooperation.

Ms. Mariana Balboni is currently a Senior Project Officer at UNDP’s Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) in Brasilia, Brazil. Previously, Ms. Balboni was the coordinator of the Observatory for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean from ECLAC, United Nations until 2012. She was also responsible for the creation of the Center of Studies on Information and Communication Technologies in the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, which from 2004 to 2008 became a reference in the production of indicators and statistics on the availability and use of the Internet in country.

Ms. Balboni holds a PhD. in Sciences of Communications from the University of São Paulo, in Brazil, where she specialized on the impact of ICT on the socio-economic development of low-income communities. She also holds a M. Sc. in Sciences of Communications from the University of Montréal, in Canada, and a B. A. in Communications, with a major in Journalism, from the University of São Paulo, Brazil