Programme for South-South Cooperation

 This program is closed.

After the UN Conference on Environment and Development (1992) in Rio de Janeiro, Benin, Bhutan and Costa Rica separately entered into bilateral Sustainable Development Agreements (SDA) with the Kingdom of Netherlands being formalized in 1994.

The Programme for South-South Cooperation between Benin, Bhutan, Costa Rica and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (henceforth PSC) grew out of those Bilateral Sustainable Development Agreements. In 2005, based on the priorities agreed in Johannesburg and the Millennium Development Goals, Costa Rica, Benin and Bhutan came under the umbrella of South-South Cooperation, with a US$13.2 million grant from the Kingdom of Netherlands.

Specifically, PSC identified four development goals that it would work towards.

  1. Develop reciprocal projects on the ground that will generate knowledge and empower stakeholders. The results of these projects would be used as inputs for sector strategies and policy making.
  2. Mobilize national governments, the civil society, the academic and private sectors in partner countries to renew and reinforce commitment to sustainable development.
  3. Contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction in partner countries, by taking environmental, economic and cultural idiosyncrasies into account.
  4. Explore the potential of South-South partnership to promote international commitments and mutual cooperation for sustainable development and experiment with a new North – South – South model of development cooperation.

These goals were set around four thematic areas which included:

  1. sustainable tourism
  2. sustainable production and consumption chains
  3. conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
  4. access to sustainable energy and efficient energy use

Gender equity and women empowerment was a cross-cutting theme emphasized in all PSC projects. The PSC was meant to execute reciprocal projects of common interest between 2007 and 2011.


The value of allowing the Southern partners take ownership is reflected in the impressive results achieved by PSC to date. Only 5 years in running, and with a relatively small fund, PSC has involved over 180 organizations to achieve the following results:

  • 26.706 direct beneficiaries
  • More than 2500 new jobs
  • 374 new microenterprise
  • 1.280 people participating in productive activities
  • 1.227 people that are working in a productive activity related to the training
  • 477 communities benefited
  • 1.533 indigenous people trained
  • 673 new products and 179 new services developed
  • 1160 women involved in decision making

Given the commendable results that PSC has achieved over the years, this Program was awarded with the 2010 UN South-South Cooperation Global Award.

Efforts are currently underway to find a new source of funding showcasing PSC as a successful model of cooperation that can be easily replicated and improved with the participation of more partner countries of the South. PSC evolved into partners for South-South Cooperation (PSSC), with the intention of including new partner countries.

Visit PSC website: