Emerging aid donors, such as China, India and, increasingly, Brazil, are changing the international aid architecture and challenging some of its tenets, such as the current consensus on ‘aid effectiveness’. Once, aid flowed in one direction from the richest industrialised nations to the developing world – a strict ‘North to South’ aid stream. Things are now more complex, with aid moving across the South, and old definitions of developed and developing losing their meaning.
The volume of aid from emerging donors reached between $9.5 and $12 billion in 2006: 7.8% to 9.8% of total aid flows, according to a UN estimate (UN 2008). Debates on emerging donors, South-South cooperation (SSC) and how these relate to the ‘aid effectiveness’ principles defined by the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action, are sparking interest among development practitioners in the run up to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, to be held in Busan, South Korea, in 2011.
Yet little is known about the development cooperation practices of emerging donors or, most importantly, the impact of their aid in recipient countries. This paper fills some of these gaps by reviewing the institutional set up of Brazil’s aid programme and the implications of its rise in the aid scene on debates around emerging donors and development cooperation. It draws on a study produced by ODI on Brazilian technical cooperation for development commissioned by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency and funded by the UK Department for International Development.