The Jakarta Post
Some 290 policy makers and practitioners from 46 countries and international organizations convened on Tuesday in Bali for the High-Level Meeting on South-South cooperation to push for knowledge exchange among countries within the cooperation scheme.
The two-day meeting, opened by Vice President Boediono, was expected to issue the Bali Communiqué, which would affirm the importance and role of knowledge sharing in South-South cooperation.
Head of the National Development Planning Agency ( Bappenas ), Armida Alisjahbana, said that knowledge exchange is a key instrument in achieving development objectives and strengthening national capacity.
“Developing nations offer many best practices that may be adapted to suit development challenges. The challenge is how to learn and share information about these best practices,” she said.
The participants presented several institutional arrangements for knowledge sharing, including Singapore’s Cooperation Enterprise, Brazil’s agricultural research and technology transfer hub, and the international development cooperation agencies established by Colombia and Mexico.
They also discussed opportunities, challenges, and experiences in developing and building institutions that can act as knowledge hubs, centers that compile experiences and build systematic networks of experts.
World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati said, “Until recently, development cooperation was about transferring money, technology and solutions from developed countries to developing countries. Today, development solutions come from anywhere — North, South, East and West — and increasingly from other developing countries.”
She added that in this meeting, middle-income countries were taking responsibility to share experience and let others learn.
Indonesia already has a national policy for South-South cooperation, implemented through strengthening cooperation among institutions and improving monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
In his opening remarks, Boediono said that Indonesia was ready to become a knowledge hub for South-South in three areas: energy and food security and community-driven disaster mitigation; governance and peace building; and macro-economic management.
Vice president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency ( JICA ) Hiroto Arakawa said that it was encouraging to see that Indonesia and many others were active in development cooperation and were willing to become knowledge hubs.
“We look forward to increased engagements of developing countries in sharing their own development experiences and in helping their peers advance development processes.”