More than 4500 South-South co-operation activities in TOSSD. What do the data tell us?


In September every year, the world celebrates the UN day for South-South cooperation (SSC). The role of SSC providers in the development support landscape is increasingly important. The Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) standard is helping close data gaps on development finance, including these flows.

In 2020, TOSSD collected more than 4500 activities on South-South cooperation, all of them available at Which SDGs and sectors receive more SSC support? How about triangular cooperation activities in TOSSD? This data story aims to shed some light on these questions.

SSC reported on TOSSD at a glance.

Twelve South-South cooperation providers reported in TOSSD in 2020. The data show that more than 45% of activities targeted education, government & civil society and health in recipient countries. These trends are very similar to the sectoral distribution of all activities reported to TOSSD, where these three sectors represented more than 40% of the total number of activities, as shown in our data story about TOSSD 2020 flows. 83% of SSC activities were reported as cross-border flows to developing countries (vs. 78% for the entire TOSSD portfolio).

In addition, 88% of the activities reported by SSC providers were grants and direct provider spending, in the form of technical cooperation, in-kind donations, scholarships and trainings. Most of the activities reported as loans (11%) were implemented by Southern Multilateral Development Banks.

Closing data gaps with South-South cooperation data: country cases.

TOSSD can help countries complement information available in their national databases on the official support that they receive. We looked into TOSSD data reported for Mozambique, Peru and the Philippines to see how they can help close local data gaps on South-South and triangular cooperation.

According to TOSSD, 76 South-South and triangular co-operation activities were implemented in Mozambique in 2020. Almost 60% of these activities supported SDG 4 (quality education, mainly through scholarships). South-South and triangular cooperation supported the implementation of another 9 SDGs in Mozambique. In terms of sectors, education and health received almost 75% of SSC and triangular cooperation in 2020, including health-related activities focused on COVID-19 control, family planning and reproductive health, as well as basic health infrastructure. 

TOSSD collected more than 50 South-South and triangular co-operation activities implemented in Peru during 2020. In terms of the number of activities, and similarly to the Mozambique case, SDG 4 was the main supported goal, mostly in the form of scholarships. Health activities concentrated almost 75% of SSC and triangular co-operation disbursements, mainly through in-kind donations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru. 

In the Philippines, the trends were different in comparison to Mozambique and Peru. SDG 15 concentrated most of the SSC and triangular activities, followed by zero hunger (SDG 2), health (SDG 3) and climate action (SDG 13). On disbursements by sectors, almost 75% of South-South and triangular cooperation flows reported in TOSSD targeted "multi-sector" activities, agriculture, forestry and fishing, as well as health. South-South and triangular co-operation supported culture and recreation activities, training on reproductive health and prevention of Gender-Based Violence, climate resilience, and the COVID-19 response.

Made with Flourish

Publication date: 5 December 2022

Author: TOSSD Task Force Secretariat


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