On last Monday, the World Bank launched the new World Development Report (WDR) focusing on conflict, security and development in a changing world where institutional challenges and lack of comprehensive support models are yet compromising development in many countries. Importantly, the 2011 WDR stresses the enormous potential of South-South exchanges to enable much-needed capacity development in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Peer learning facilitates the sharing of highly adaptable and best-fit solutions and experiences, while strengthening leadership and creating strong incentives for building institutions even in complex national and local settings. In consequence, increased exchanges between fragile and conflict-affected countries is one of the four key recommendations of the WDR, representing yet another milestone for the South-South agenda.
Many of the WDR's examples of peer learning around overcoming conflict and preventing violence directly draw on the case stories gathered by the Task Team on South-South cooperation (TT-SSC), such as the experiences of PALAMA creating public administration capacities in Burundi, Rwanda, and Southern Sudan, or the cooperation between El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in the Trifinio region, which after suffering long-standing conflicts now pursues shared development. These two experiences, together with 18 more cases, are currently studied in-depth by the TT-SSC academic partners, in order to inform the Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness and the G20 development agenda. Overall, the analytical work of the TT-SSC, which draws on the energy of hundreds of policy-makers, practitioners and academics around the globe, will continue to influence global and regional agendas orienting high-level debates towards Southern practice and experiences.