Uneven convergence in India’s development cooperation: the case of concessional finance to Africa

Author’s Abstract

The year 2015 witnessed an important shift in India’s development cooperation, resulting in uneven convergence towards practices associated with ‘mainstream’ aid donors. This is demonstrative of a wider evolution in Southern development actors. Using the case of Indian governmental concessional lines of credit (LoCs), this article demonstrates how diplomatic, strategic and party-political interests drove the Indian state to adopt policies from the World Bank and UK on project selection, design, tendering and monitoring. These were intended to increase technical proficiency, timeliness and development outcomes but also to change the companies undertaking these projects. Such policies depart from the non-interventionist, non-hierarchical norms of South– South cooperation espoused by Southern countries emerging as major development actors. However, whilst converging in these aspects of technical planning and implementation, the political and strategic interests driving the LoC changes did not extend to examining developmental or environmental outcomes; state-to-state relations continue to have primacy in approving projects. Uneven convergence has therefore occurred, with a change in technical policies but greater persistence of South–South cooperation norms. This reflects the wider multi-directional evolution of development, with ‘Southern’ powers increasingly adopting policies from Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors and the World Bank whilst they redefine aid and increase blended finance.

Post Description

  • Publication year: 2021
  • Content type: Journal Article
  • Form of cooperation: Lines of Credit
  • Cooperation context: Bilateral cooperation  
  • Sector: Multi-sectoral
  • Institution (publication): Third World Quarterly
  • Author (and co-authors): Barnaby Dye
  • Keywords: India-Africa, Lines of Credit
  • Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ctwq20/current