Colombia Action Dialogue: Big Ideas for Making SSC More Effective


Action Dialogue Status: Completed


At APC-Colombia we understand South-South Co-operation (SSC) as exchanges of best practices and knowledge between two or more partners (from any sector) from countries of the Global South. In recent years we have made specific efforts to professionalize the SSC received and provided by the country. We are seeking a more rigorous cooperation that prioritizes projects over specific activities, that aims at horizons of one or two years to have greater impact and that’s guided by better planning, coordination and project assessment tools.

The positive behavior of Colombia's macroeconomic indicators, correlated with its entry into the OECD as an Upper Middle Income Country, brings new international expectations for the country, despite the fact that it continues to face strong economic, social, political and environmental challenges. This situation, which Colombia shares with other countries around the world, has been called "Development in Transition" by the OECD.

These new expectations apply to all public (national and subnational), private, social and academic stakeholders. Although each sector has a capacity for action limited by its own interests and constraints (e.g. mandates, time, resources, tools), they are all expected to promote innovation, agility, transparency, accountability, equity and sustainable development, among other goals.

In this scenario, measuring or quantifying our work is essential for its effective management. To measure is to compare something with a previously agreed standard. However, around SSC there is still no consensus on the question of how to define or build the standard by which this work will be measured. The main global fora on measurement of international cooperation in which APCColombia is actively participating this year 2021 are:


  1. The Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), which seeks an answer to the question of "How can we make SSC in Ibero-American countries more comparable?”
  2. Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD), which aims to answer the question of how to account for the contribution of SSC towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, within SDG 17 on international cooperation.
  3. The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC), which seeks an answer to the question of “How to show the contribution of SSC to the fulfillment of the principles of effective cooperation?”

In addition, the Busan 2021 Global Partnership Forum discussed recently the need to build narratives around effective cooperation that better reflect the realities of different stakeholders, and the keys to building innovative and inclusive partnerships.

Within the Knowledge Management Hub on South-South Co-operation, designed by APCColombia to promote a more visible and rigorous cooperation with partners from the Global South, we are creating a Community of Practice on Measurement and Quantification of SSC, which allows us to discuss how our work is quantified/measured/assessed/evaluated, based on practices developed in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Taking advantage of this momentum, this event marks the start of our Community of Practice on Measurement and Quantification of SSC, with a multi-stakeholder exercise aiming to connect these ideas and answer the following question: What does it mean to promote ‘a more effective South-South Co-operation’ for different kinds of actors within the context of development in transition?


A panel with 4 participants will be organized, to present an overview of the current status of measurement of South-South Co-operation and its most relevant dimensions for each sector, triggering a reflection on what needs to be adjusted or created to increase the effectiveness of SSC. The information presented by the panelists and the following discussion by the audience will inform the agenda for APC-Colombia's Community of Practice on Measurement and Quantification of South-South Co-operation.