Cooperation for development

IDFC coined the concept of ‘Cooperation for Development’ to describe the form of cooperation favored among its members. The group’s institutional capacity varies from experienced to emerging, which makes cooperation key in developing the expertise of the entire group.


In 2016, the IDFC established a Cooperation for Development (CfD) Working Group to explore ways through which the Club could deepen cooperation and learn from each other. A paper was prepared in which it set out the origin of the term ‘cooperation for development’ and described ways in which members of the Club worked together.
From 2017, CfD 2.0 was launched to map the experiences of members in their efforts to work together and to explore other ways to cooperate (than South-South Cooperation and Trilateral/triangular).

This new mode of relationship between IDFC partners provides a framework within which partners can share experiences, strengths, and mitigate weaknesses and threats. It also provides a platform for the IDFC to showcase their collaboration in projects and processes.


The objectives of CfD 2.0 detailed in the C4D Rountable 2018 report were:

  • Develop an IDFC definition and common understanding of what Cooperation for Development means;
  • Share lessons and experiences with each other;
  • Map existing cooperation and what members are doing in areas of common interest;
  • Solicit ideas for new working group focus areas and offer new direction for future collaboration


IDFC has four modes of cooperation:

  • Knowledge sharing through seminars, workshops, staff exchanges, information sharing, etc.
  • Capacity building includes training programmes and staff exchanges
  • Technical assistance includes project assistance, technology transfer, technical assistance for accreditation processes, project preparation, etc.
  • Co-financing


Every year the CfD Working Group is collecting qualitative and quantitative data on how IDFC members cooperate with one another. In 2021, the survey included a question on collaboration in the post-COVID world. IDFC members have shared extensive response on the initiatives focused on COVID-19 measures and were willing to share ideas for post covid-19 cooperation amongst IDFC members.

At IDFC, through our cooperation for 10 years now, we are proud to be proactive in making sure we play our part in the SDGs and align with the Paris Agreement. We provide guidance to all members and even beyond so they can align to both.

Patrick Dlamini, CEO of DBSA — Development Bank of Southern Africa


Annual report C4D 2023
The C4D provides an annual report which provides an update on the engagements of IDFC members following responses from its annual questionnaire sent to members.
Read the 2023 report

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