Triangular Cooperation: Different Approaches, Same Modality

Volume 52 Number 2
Published: November 26, 2021

Triangular cooperation aims to utilise the comparative advantages of a pivotal partner (usually an emerging country) and a facilitating partner (usually a traditional donor) to generate development impacts with and for the benefit of a beneficiary, through simultaneously strengthening their partnership and providing opportunities for mutual learning. Utilising the triangular cooperation modality, China has acted primarily as a pivotal partner, implementing projects with facilitating partners and beneficiaries. Roles and responsibilities between China and facilitating partners differ greatly. Three approaches can be distinguished: (a) facilitating partner provides financial resources and China provides expertise; (b) China provides financial resources and facilitating partner implements; (c) China and facilitating partner provide financial resources and jointly plan and implement together with the beneficiary. This article argues that approach (c), currently practised in triangular cooperation projects between China, Germany, and beneficiary countries provides the partners with the most potential for effectively generating developmental impacts and partnership effects.

From Issue: Vol. 52 No. 2 (2021) | China and International Development: Knowledge, Governance, and Practice