Voluntary Guidelines

for Effective Triangular Co-operation

English version, with Arabic, French and Spanish subtitles

The Voluntary Guidelines represent a shared commitment to effectiveness.

Following BAPA +40 and as a result of its work, The GPI advanced in 2019 a set of Voluntary Guidelines grounded in evidence and consultation with numerous GPI members.

Complementing GPI’s work, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC), through the work of its Action Area on Triangular Co-operation, promoted the implementation of the GPI Voluntary Guidelines and published three pilot studies on their implementation: Colombia, Indonesia, and South Africa.

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The Voluntary Guidelines for Effective Triangular Co-operation

The development landscape has changed significantly in the last few years, including the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement, and the World Humanitarian Summit’s Agenda for Humanity, among others. International development cooperation modalities and dynamics have evolved. 

Triangular cooperation is a transformative modality that offers an adaptable and flexible approach to evolving development challenges. It is an innovative approach to accelerate progress on achieving the 2030 Agenda. Inclusive partnerships, including those that support the lives of the poorest, most vulnerable and those living in fragile states, constitute the basis of triangular cooperation and are essential to leaving no one behind.

Triangular cooperation builds on the complementary strengths of different actors to find innovative and cost-effective, flexible, contextspecific solutions to development challenges. It can arise from a combination of South-South and North-South cooperation, creating coalitions around the pursuit of shared development goals

Traditionally, triangular cooperation has involved three development actors: a traditional provider, an emerging economy and a partner country. A contemporary approach to triangular cooperation reflects new development actors and changing working methods. As such, effective triangular cooperation is multi-stakeholder, and includes governments, international organizations, civil society, the private sector, academia, private philanthropy and sub-national actors, such as cities and municipalities. It provides comparative advantages by complementing North-South and South-South cooperation. All partners bring in knowledge and expertise which encourage innovation and co-creation leading to shared and mutual benefits.

Voluntary Guidelines represent a shared commitment to effectiveness. As partners in triangular cooperation, we commit to:

1. Country ownership and demand-driven cooperation: Triangular cooperation should  be undertaken with the ownership of partner countries and aligned with their national priorities,as well as those of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

2. Shared commitment: Partners agree to participate and share responsibility with regard to identification, design, implementation, contribution, monitoring, and evaluation;

3. Focus on results-oriented approaches and solutions: All partners commit to achieving agreed upon results, as well as to demonstrating and systematizing results;

4. Inclusive partnerships and multi-stakeholder dialogues: Responding to the needs and objectives of all parties, partners aim to involve multiple actors with a view to foster knowledge-sharing; and to find sustainable development solutions;

5. Transparency and mutual accountability: All partners are accountable for commitments made and agreed. They agree to share information on their triangular cooperation activities in accordance to the standard to enable monitoring, evaluation and accountability;

6. Innovation and co-creation: Through new and existing partnerships, intelligent risktaking, evidence-based policy and programming, technology, and flexible approaches to locally-driven innovative solutions, with a view to improving development results;

7. Joint-learning and knowledge-sharing for sustainable development: Through horizontal exchanges and co-creation of development solutions, all partners mutually benefit from sharing their knowledge, capabilities and strengths;

8. Advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls: Triangular cooperation should contribute to gender equality in its multiple dimensions as a way to accelerate sustainable development progress;

9. Leaving no one behind: Triangular cooperation furthers inclusive multi-stakeholder partnerships, including those that provide support to the most vulnerable.

Multi-Colour Triangles arranged in an S

We bring development stakeholders together to promote triangular co-operation and ensure that initiatives are effective, country-led and involve inclusive partnerships for sustainable development.

Acting Lead Member