Mutual Learning for Change: An Assessment of the SIA Programme of the Rising Powers Programme
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The Senior International Associates (SIA) programme is part of the Rising Powers in International Development programme at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), under which senior policy actors in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), specifically India, China and Brazil, have come to IDS to advance mutual learning since 2012. This assessment seeks to understand how mutual learning has occurred, what this has looked like in practice, and the activities that both the SIAs and wider programme staff at IDS have been involved in as a result of the programme. A core concern of the assessment is to move beyond the counting and listing of outputs – the number of IDS Policy Briefings and Evidence Reports produced as a result of the programme – to instead understand the less tangible and visible outcomes of this programme, such as dialogues that have occurred over the past three years, discourses that may have emerged as a result, and networks that have been formed through the work of these SIAs. The purpose of this paper is to provide a short assessment that seeks to demonstrate the contribution of the SIA programme to outcomes around emerging networks that support the United Kingdom Government and other actors to engage more effectively with the rising powers. As stated earlier, of particular interest to us are contributions that this programme may have made in terms of the development of relationships and networks that will allow policymakers from the rising powers, from developing countries, and from the Department for International Development to interact and engage more effectively around key development issues.