South-South Cooperation

India elections 2014
A woman voter standing to vote at a local polling station in Varanasi. UNDP and the Indian Election Commission are supporting 20 countries in learning from India’s experience in managing elections. Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/UNDP India

South-South cooperation (SSC) is about developing countries working together to find solutions to common development challenges. Linked by similarities in their development contexts and challenges, the countries of the South have been increasingly active in sharing knowledge, exchanging technologies, and forming common agenda and collective actions.  Donor countries of the North also have made notable efforts in supporting the cooperation among developing countries and accepted triangular cooperation (TrC) as a way to make North-South aid more effective. It is a powerful tool for building new partnerships and creating more democratic and equitable forms of global interdependence and governance. 

UNDP proposes to make South-South and triangular cooperation core ways of working in its programmes and operations at the global, regional and country levels. Our focus will be on sustaining and expanding South-South and triangular cooperation that maximizes mutual benefits.  Our role will be that of a knowledge broker, builder of capacities and facilitator of exchanges driven primarily by programme countries themselves, working with other interested stakeholders including Governments from the Organization of economic Cooperation and Development and non-state entities. 

UNDP Target Areas for South-South

UNDP will target three areas: first, knowledge on what has worked and what has not together with information on who is involved and what they can offer; second, enabling harmonization of policies, legal frameworks and regulations to increase opportunities for South-South exchanges; and third, strategic funding and technical cooperation from a variety of sources, to build the capacity of programme countries to implement SSC, manage the ‘start-up’ costs of collaboration and finance the scaling-up of promising ideas.

In supporting SSC, UNDP will tackle two major functions. First, by hosting the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), strengthen support for system-wide coordination and action, under the guidance of the High level Committee.  Secondly, UNDP’s country and programmatic reach and resources to provide a global operational arm for South-South and triangular cooperation that will also be accessible to other members of the UN Development System.

Our Stories

Our projects

 Associate Administrator with Korean Prime Minister

Saemaul Initiaive: Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Communities

The Saemaul Udong initiative, or the New Village Movement, aims to update, integrate and scale up proven successful elements of the initiative and its application into an exemplary systematic approach and effective platform for development cooperation. more

Video: South-South Cooperation in 75 seconds

Xiaojun Grace Wang, Lead Adviser for South-South Cooperation, provides an overview on the opportunities and challenges on South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

Featured blog
Scaling-up matters for South-South Cooperation


The global development cooperation landscape is changing rapidly. Emerging economies and other developing countries have become key actors in the new development architecture.

Featured publications
Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ booklet seeks to answer questions often raised in the community of practice. It starts by addressing the overall definition and importance of South-South and Triangular Cooperation, as well as the roles of UNDP.

The South-South Quarterly (January - March 2014)


The UNDP Newsletter for South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Human Development.