The South-South Experience Exchange Facility Implementation Progress Report 2017
In 2017, as part of the new strategy adopted by the partners to strengthen its focus on results and its long-term development impact, the South-South Facility (SSF) transitioned from a stand-alone trust fund to a mechanism that supports World Bank operational teams in the design, the delivery and the monitoring and evaluation of South-South knowledge exchanges. Along with stand-alone knowledge exchanges implemented within 12 months, a key feature of the new strategy was the introduction of a window for programmatic knowledge exchanges: a series of knowledge sharing interventions that build over time to address development challenges. Multiple stakeholders can participate in programmatic exchanges, including non-World Bank client countries who can now be involved as knowledge providers.
Beyond spreading good practice and innovative development solutions, programmatic knowledge exchanges aim to strengthen the knowledge sharing capacity of both knowledge providers and recipients; up to 20% of a programmatic knowledge exchange grant can be used to support the participating countries in strengthening their ability to share knowledge.
Under these two knowledge exchange approaches, stand-alone and programmatic, seasoned experts support SSF grant recipients by providing technical assistance on knowledge exchange design, implementation and monitoring. World Bank operations teams cover the cost of this support which helps increase the likelihood to achieve meaningful development results.
In 2009, only 30% of SSF grants were associated with World Bank operations. Since then, South-South knowledge exchanges have become increasingly integrated into World Bank lending projects or technical assistance services: 100% of the SSF grants awarded in 2017 support either lending or technical assistance. This progression illustrates well the increased acknowledgement of the added-value that South-South peer learning brings to the implementation of development projects. South-South knowledge exchanges also occur outside the scope of the South-South Facility but still very much on an ad-hoc basis and there is currently no World Bank instrument that allows for systematic South-South peer learning within the framework of lending operations.
The World Bank and the South-South Facility are deeply committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as set out in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets. Accordingly, each SSF-funded knowledge exchange provides support to achieving Target 17.6 of SDG 17: Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation. All knowledge exchanges also support the achievement of other SDGs. The 14 SSF-funded knowledge exchanges that are currently under implementation primarily help achieve 17 targets from 12 SDGs.