Indonesia, UNDP and partners boost knowledge exchange between developing countries
Bali, Indonesia – At least 200 policy-makers and representatives from 40 countries gathered today in the Indonesian island of Bali for the first global high-level meeting to boost knowledge exchange between developing countries. The conference, Towards Country-Led Knowledge Hubs, taking place 10-11 July, focuses on how to build stronger institutions that play a key role as ‘knowledge exchange hubs’—gathering lessons learned and building networks to share them more systematically.
At the two-day meeting organized by the Government of Indonesia, the World Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), participants presented several institutional arrangements for knowledge sharing. They ranged from Singapore’s Cooperation Enterprise and Brazil’s agricultural research and technology transfer hub (Embrapa) to the international development cooperation agencies established by Colombia, Mexico and South Africa.
“While development cooperation in the second half of the 20th century was built on a north-south transfer of technology, knowledge and resources, a hallmark of the 21st century is a more open knowledge exchange - from all parts of the world,” said UN Assistant Secretary General Ajay Chhibber and UNDP Director for Asia and the Pacific.
“We must build knowledge platforms that harness these ideas and solutions that are more relevant, more affordable from those that have developed recently, process them to see what can be transportable to others, and make them available in a global solution exchange," he added.
The high-level meeting acknowledges the crucial role of knowledge exchange in the development agenda. Today, countries want to learn from the practical experiences of their peers and practitioners increasingly want to be connected to each other, across countries, across regions.
For example, both Nepal and Ecuador have learned from the Philippines’ experience with risk sensitive land use planning, and Vietnam reformed its social insurance system and social safety net inspired by initiatives from Latvia, Bulgaria, Turkey, China, India and Brazil.
As a result of this increased demand, countries are investing in their institutional capacity to share their experiences more systematically. Multilateral organizations have also been asked to support these efforts and are gearing up with a range of services to foster well-established knowledge hubs.
“For us, sharing our knowledge and experience is a way to develop meaningful international partnerships,” said Dewo Broto Putranto, Director for Multilateral Foreign Funding (BAPPENAS), Indonesia, a country which is breaking new ground by anchoring knowledge exchange legally in their national development plan.
“As the demand for our development experience grows, we seek better conditions to connect and exchange knowledge in a more systematic way and at a larger scale,” he added.
Just two weeks ago, at the end of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the Brazilian government and UNDP announced the creation of the Rio Plus Centre, the World Centre for Sustainable Development, as a concrete legacy of the Rio-conferences and as an ambitious and inclusive hub for knowledge exchange and advancement of sustainable development across the economic, social and environmental strands.
By forging new strategic partnerships with developing countries, UNDP has facilitated knowledge flows and expertise between developing countries, also helping accelerate social and economic development at the country level. Today, UNDP has partnership instruments with Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey to specifically boost knowledge exchange between developing countries.
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