The Learning Event brought together colleagues from DFID, IDS, and the BRICS, and aimed to facilitate the sharing and learning of experiences in international development and policy, from and amongst the BRICS, and to set out a framework and broad parameters for engaging with the Rising Powers in the future.
Presentations from DFID colleagues in the BRICS countries and London office showed that DFID policymakers are concerned with finding structures that allow the UK to address the challenges of working with new development actors – e.g. non-DAC donors and the BRICS countries – particularly in the post-Busan context, where the OECD Development Assistance Committee is seen to no longer hold the same sway. At the same time, DFID seeks to share its extensive experience and expertise as a donor and partner in technical development cooperation. How do we capitalise on the good relationships the UK has with other nations to implement development processes and action in a new and as yet undefined space?
The feedback from participants from the BRICS showed similar concerns exist, particularly in terms of the need for wider and more transparent domestic consultation processes, as their countries (re)engage in international development. The consensus was that DFID may achieve greater impact in future development coordination and cooperation with the BRICS if the focus is primarily on technical and thematic engagement. This would provide an entry point for working towards an eventual consensus around the role and place that political issues such as governance, democracy, and human rights should take in development assistance.
The proposed Future Policy Development Network was discussed as offering an intermediary – and much more politically neutral – space for some of these issues to be discussed by policymakers, academics, researchers, and civil society from the Rising Powers, the UK, and other development actors.
Two key points emerged during the week-long RPID workshop; and in particular during the DFID Learning Event: the need for the BRICS and other Rising Powers to manage inequality, and the need to systematise learning from their experiences in development and poverty reduction.
Constantine, J. Learning Event on the Rising Powers for DFID Advisors, April&#8211;May 2012. IDS, Brighton, UK (2013) 26 pp. [Evidence Report 40]