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South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC)

Promoting and supporting collaboration among countries of the South

The effective implementation of the 2030 Global Agenda will require innovation, new partnerships, knowledge-sharing and scaling up of proven approaches.

One way to do this is through South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) – a broad framework for promoting and supporting collaboration among countries of the South. Through SSTC, countries can share knowledge, technology, policies and other resources. 

SSTC has enormous potential for agriculture and rural development in developing countries. It can unlock diverse experiences and provide solutions to pressing development challenges.

In the past, SSTC primarily entailed sharing technical expertise, knowledge and skills about issues such as livestock, health, food processing and efficient water use. Today, technical cooperation also includes dialogue on regional policy coordination and other government actions that are crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Increasingly, SSTC also involves the sharing of financial resources among Southern countries. The volume of South-South aid flows, trade, and flows of foreign direct investment has increased, and there are movements towards regional integration.

IFAD promotes SSTC as a key mechanism for delivering relevant, targeted and cost-effective development solutions and other resources to beneficiaries and partners across the globe. The Fund’s commitment to SSTC is noted in its 2016-2025 Strategic Framework.

The 2016 paper IFAD’s Approach to South-South and Triangular Cooperation highlights IFAD’s comparative advantage for supporting two types of SSTC activities: technical cooperation and investment promotion. 

Technical cooperation includes activities that identify, promote or otherwise make available solutions (technologies, approaches, methodologies and know-how) that improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and poor rural people. Investment promotion involves activities that leverage IFAD’s role as a broker and facilitate financial, trade and business linkages between Southern actors for rural development.

In both domains, IFAD is engaged in SSTC at various levels:

  • integrating SSTC into country programmes (project design and implementation)
  • incorporating SSTC into regional initiatives (both intra- and interregional)
  • piloting and scaling-up innovative SSTC approaches through grant-funded programmes
  • partnership-building and resource mobilization
  • policy support, strategy and knowledge management.

China-IFAD South-South and Triangular Cooperation Facility

The China-IFAD SSTC Facility was established in February 2018 and is the first Facility in IFAD dedicated to SSTC.

Read more about the Facility



Rural Solutions Portal

The Rural Solutions Portal is a web-based knowledge-sharing platform that collects rural development solutions. These are innovations, technologies, processes and methodologies for the rural world.

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South-South and Triangular Cooperation is key to fighting hunger and poverty and transforming rural communities in developing countries

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Find out more about the four projects selected from the SSTC Third Call for Proposals.

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Despite the African continent holding the world’s most arable land and the agricultural sector employing over half of the population, Africa is still struggling with food production and food insecurity.

Maximizing impact in the LAC region with SSTC and knowledge management

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Brazil and Africa share similar environmental, climate and social conditions, and both face similar development challenges. This creates interesting opportunities for South-South collaboration through technology transfer in several areas, including agriculture, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and value chains development.

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China-IFAD South-South and Triangular Cooperation Facility - Approved proposals: second call

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Established in February 2018 and entirely devoted to smallholder agriculture and rural development, the China-IFAD SSTC Facility is taking concrete actions to alleviate rural poverty, enhance rural productivity, advance rural transformation and promote investments among developing countries.