South-South and triangular cooperation: changing lives through partnership
South-South and triangular cooperation has an enormous potential role in agriculture and rural development in developing countries, both in unlocking diverse experiences and lessons and in providing solutions to pressing development challenges. From the cases that follow, a number of common lessons emerge. First, it is important to create a space for interaction and cross-country learning. In the Scaling up Micro-Irrigation Systems project or with the household mentoring approach, for instance, workshops and ‘writeshops’ gathered people from diverse countries who could then share their own knowledge and experiences. In such spaces, participants could compare how a similar approach or technology required certain adaptations to better fit with local cultural, social and environmental contexts, offering important lessons for future scaling up. Sometimes individual champions can make a difference. In Madagascar, the project design for a public/private partnership improved drastically when an IFAD consultant with similar experience in another country became involved. In this case, it was also an ‘unexpected outcome’, as the innovation came from a replacement for the regular consultant, who had broken his foot …. So even through small staff changes, knowledge of a complementary innovation from another country can have a big impact.