Terms of Reference
Triangular co-operation supports the goals, objectives, and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda. In the current development landscape, triangular co-operation is expanding its scope and includes multi-stakeholder relationships between governments, international organisations, civil society, and the private sector. It provides comparative advantages by complementing North-South and South-South co-operation. All partners transfer knowledge and expertise which encourages innovation and co-creation leading to shared collateral benefits. Triangular co-operation is a modality of its own that requires at least three roles represented, with each potentially having more than one actor:
- The facilitator helps to connect countries and organisations to form a triangular partnership and gives financial and/or technical support to the collaboration.
- The pivotal partner often has proven experience and shares its resources, knowledge and expertise through triangular co-operation. It can sometimes provide a bridge between South-South and North-South.
- The beneficiary partner seeks support to tackle a specific development challenge in line with its national development priorities and needs. It is responsible for ensuring that results are sustainable.
Partners can take on various aspects of all roles throughout the lifetime of the collaboration. Triangular co-operation allows for flexible financing and working arrangements.
The Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) on Effective Triangular Co-operation was launched in the Second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) in Nairobi in December 2016. In the past years, GPI members worked to foster a contemporary understanding of triangular co-operation, increase awareness of the modality, support members in delivering the modality effectively and provide a space for members to share experiences and prospect new triangular partnerships.
The Second High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) in Buenos Aires (March 2019) was a milestone for triangular co-operation and the GPI. For the first time, a UN official document recognised the efforts and the importance of the initiative, and GPI received a mandate to implement the BAPA+40 Outcome Document.
In 2024 the GPI members adhered to a new Terms of Reference (ToR):
To bring together development stakeholders to promote and ensure that triangular co-operation projects and initiatives are effective, country-led and involve inclusive partnerships for sustainable development.
The GPI is a platform for interested stakeholders to exchange experiences in promoting effective triangular co-operation to achieve development goals set on national, regional and international agendas through advocacy of its contemporary understanding of the modality within the global development co-operation community, joint support to its members and partners, and delivering joint triangular projects.
DELIVERY MODE, WORKING ARRAGEMENTS, ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Members: The GPI members are equal, self-organised and define voluntarily their engagement.
Lead member: Active members will agree on a lead member(s). The lead member will be entrusted with this role for a time-bound period, which should last at least 3 months, up to one year, depending on the lead member’s capacity. A lead member will be responsible for communicating with members and leading the organisation of the membership meetings.
Membership meetings: The GPI members will meet at least once every quarter and at minimum once a year in person. In-person or hybrid meetings are organized as much as possible back-to-back to related international meetings in which there is significant overlapping membership, such as the International Meetings on Triangular Co-operation in Lisbon. The lead member will convene and facilitate membership meetings, identify priority topics for discussion, define the agenda, facilitate the meeting and when applicable produce meeting reports. Membership meetings aim to be a space for members to share knowledge and experiences, and establish partnerships to foster joint activities to deliver the GPI goals. Members will reflect on their priorities and can advance joint projects and activities on behalf of the GPI, including, but not limited to:
- Advocacy of the contemporary understanding of the modality,
- Analytical work to increase evidence on the impact of triangular co-operation,
- Building capacity for triangular co-operation,
- Triangular co-operation projects on the ground to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.
Current lead member contact information
Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (Norec)