Challenges of triangular cooperation in Ibero-America: identifying good practices to strengthen its management

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In recent years, Triangular Cooperation has been acquiring a renewed presence on the international cooperation agenda. A reflection of this is its inclusion in the final document of the Second United Nations High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperation (PABA + 40), highlighting that it is a modality that complements and adds value to South-South Cooperation. At the same time, it is an important tool to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Iberoamerican countries have been pioneers in promoting this type of work, establishing alliances with various partners, who have opted for this method, and implementing a significant number of projects. Furthermore, for more than a decade, Iberoamerica has carried out an unprecedented work of conceptualization and systematization, to which the Iberoamerican Program for Strengthening South-South Cooperation (PIFCSS) has made an important contribution.

Since its launch 10 years ago, Triangular Cooperation has been one of the PIFCSS lines of work, currently being one of its Strategic Objectives for the coming years. In that time, progress has been made with the countries in establishing of general consensus on its principles, and on elements associated with the management of this type of initiative. An example of the above is the preparation of the Guiding Guide for the Management of Triangular Cooperation in Ibero-America, a document that presents
proposals for criteria, practices and tools to improve the management of Triangular Cooperation in all phases of the project cycle.

This document is part of the same line of work and is the result of a collective exercise between all the Ibero-American countries that are members of the Program and some of the main partners in the region (GIZ of Germany, the Union’s FORWARD Program European, Japan International Cooperation Agency -JICA). Based on a workshop held in October 2019 in the city of Asunción, Paraguay, the report has a practical orientation, based on the experience of the countries in project management of Triangular cooperation. Specifically, the focus is on the project identification and negotiation / formulation phases, essential to ensure a quality and high-impact project, as well as regarding the definition of the roles and capacities of each partner.

The document focuses on identifying the main management challenges associated with these phases of the project cycle and proposes some identified good practices by the countries themselves for each case. These are elements based on their experiences for the implementation of projects and are presented as guidelines for practice.

We are convinced that as the debate around Triangular Cooperation widens, practices and different approaches to its implementation are shared, we will move towards better initiatives, more effective and with much broader development results. We trust that this document contributes to that objective and to the broadening of knowledge on the subject, and we believe that it can be a contribution both for Ibero-American countries and for the international community in general.

Daniel Castillo Carniglia
Technical Secretary
Iberoamerican Program for Strengthening South-South Cooperation