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Project: Future of India's Development Cooperation

India has provided development cooperation to its neighbours in South Asia since the early 1950s. The program has expanded exponentially in recent years, and now involves more than US$2.5 billion in technical and financial cooperation annually to nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

However, public debate on India’s development cooperation remains limited. With the creation of the Development Partnership Administration (DPA) in 2012, public expectations were high that the new agency would play a lead role in formulating and developing a new policy framework and agenda for the country’s development cooperation. In the years since it was formed, the DPA has emerged more as an administrative organ of the MEA rather one designed or tasked with shaping India’s bilateral cooperation policy, institutional set-up and delivery modalities. In addition to DPA, India’s development cooperation includes a number of public and private institutions which would also benefit from more coordinated strategies, management systems and budgets for Indian development cooperation.

While the current arrangement may continue to provide strategic flexibility in administering India’s development cooperation, over the longer term and as Development Cooperation portfolio grows larger, Indian development cooperation will begin to require a well-articulated policy framework and eventually a formal policy. What should such a policy look like? Beyond geo-political interests, what factors should influence India’s development cooperation objectives, internal accountability and institutional arrangements?

Objective of the project

To examine these and other emerging issues, the Asia Foundation and O.P. Jindal Global University through the School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP) and the Centre for African Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) at the School of International Affairs (JSIA) have partnered on a graduate student project for the development of a “draft White Paper” on the future of India’s development cooperation policy.

It is expected that this paper will form the basis for initiating dialogue and discussions on formulating a development cooperation policy from India with Indian scholars and government-connected think tanks. The paper and subsequent discussions provoked by it can deepen understanding on the parameters of India’s cooperation program and the ways and means to better strengthen and improve its selection, delivery and monitoring mechanisms.

The project runs from January-June 2017 and comprises three building blocks:

Building block 1 - Capacity development (led by CALACS-JSIA in collaboration with JSGP)

This building block aims to further strengthen policy-oriented research capacity at Jindal Global University. The students selected for the capstone project are required to simultaneously complete the elective course “Beyond aid and the future of development cooperation,” offered by Prof Karin Costa Vazquez as part of CALACS-JSIA diploma of specialization in development cooperation. All students enrolled in the course are required to write case studies on international experience in conceiving and managing development cooperation that could inspire India’s own efforts and inform the draft White Paper. The country case studies are part of students’ mid-term assessment and will accompany the draft White Paper. All students enrolled in the course are also required to produce a policy brief as part of their final assessment. The policy briefs will serve as an input for the draft White Paper. The country case studies and the policy briefs will form CALACS’s first policy paper and working paper series.

Building block 2 - Dialogue exchange (led by JSGP in collaboration with CALACS-JSIA)

This building block aims to strengthen knowledge exchange between students and Indian and foreign diplomats and experts, feed into the elective course, and further prepare students for the capstone project. The public lecture series comprise: i) guest lectures by renowned Indian and global thinkers/leaders on topics like global architecture for development cooperation, key challenges for Indian development cooperation, and international experiences, as part of the elective course “Beyond aid and the future of development cooperation,” offered by Prof Karin Costa Vazquez as part of CALACS-JSIA diploma of specialization in development cooperation; and ii) dialogues open to JGU community and invited guests. The first dialogue will bring selected experts from Asia, Africa and Latin America (mainly from countries receiving Indian cooperation). The second dialogue will focus on the future of Indian Development Cooperation and specific elements of the draft White Paper.

Building block 3 - Policy research (led by JSGP in collaboration with CALACS-JSIA)

This building block aims at producing a draft White Paper on the future of India’s development cooperation. It consists in the production of the draft White Paper. This paper would be accompanied by the comparative country case studies [building block 1] and complemented by the policy briefs [building block 1] and discussions with Indian and foreign experts [building block 2]. The preparation of the draft White Paper involves a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods including an inception workshop, initial review of existing literature of India’s development cooperation; interviews and key informant interviews with public policy, academic and government experts working on development cooperation and foreign policy issues. The final draft White Paper will be presented to a panel of invited experts at the end of the Spring Semester. The final version of the paper will be launched in New Delhi during a dissemination seminar.

JGU Faculty Advisors


VINOD VYASULU                      

KARIN COSTA VAZQUEZ                             


Student Team


Aditya Vasishtha      

Amika Bawa                

Anchal Agarwal      

Ankita Singh      

Aparna Raman                

Dionisio Josais Missomal      

Hima Bindu Karibuktha      

Kanika Kharbanda               

Vyshali Kottam      

Shantanu Kanade