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New’ Actors and Global Development Cooperation

Date: 2011
The global financial crisis has reinforced trends of shifting wealth and power in the world economy. One expression of this changing global context is the rising role of so-called ›new‹ actors as development assistance providers. The ›new actors‹ term is a convenient (though not entirely accurate) label to describe a heterogeneous group of state and nonstate actors that OECD-DAC donors increasingly recognise as interesting partners for engagement. For many partner countries these new actors have provided a welcome source of additional development finance. In the context of this work programme, the global development players China, India, and Brazil, regional players such as Mexico and South Africa, private foundations and corporate philanthropies have all been included in this group. Yet the current landscape of development cooperation also extends beyond these actors to include states as diverse as Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, and Vietnam, to name a few examples.1 One starting assumption in this work package was that an improved knowledge base about the priorities and activities of new actors in developing countries is a prerequisite for designing more effective European strategies for engagement. Drawing on the publications from the work package, this paper paints a general portrait of the development cooperation efforts of new actors and highlights issues to guide thinking on how to respond to their growing presence.

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