There is a burgeoning literature on the (re)emergence of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – as significant actors in international development. To date, however, most attention has focused on the government-to-government relations established through state-led South–South Development Cooperation (SSDC) and the BRICS’ engagements in multilateral processes.
This report looks at transformations across the multiple dimensions of international development in which civil society organisations from the BRICS play a role. It begins with an analysis of the domestic context within which they operate, looking at the ‘enabling environment’ for CSO activity within the five BRICS countries in comparative perspective. It then examines in greater detail their roles in relation to government policy on development cooperation, including the extent to which they have gained access to officially sanctioned spaces for policy debate as well as efforts to stimulate debate within national and subnational civil society networks themselves. The following section examines CSOs as ‘development cooperation providers’, both in leading their own South–South cooperation initiatives (often invoking solidarity principles) and in delivering government SSDC or triangular cooperation projects. The report then moves on to examine transnational development policy spaces, including both the global processes where (traditionally Northern-dominated) debates on aid effectiveness and aid transparency have been developing and the specific fora associated with the BRICS Summit process and now with the creation of the ‘New Development Bank’ initiated by the BRICS countries.
Poskitt, A.; Shankland, A.; Taela, K. Civil Society from the BRICS: Emerging Roles in the New International Development Landscape. Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Brighton, UK (2016) 48 pp. [IDS Evidence Report 173]