South-South Blog

Can South South Cooperation create convergence? An insight
By: Anandajit Goswami on Saturday, 20 October 2012
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South South cooperation is often seen as an outcome of the interaction process between international education, international cooperation, relations and development. Development practitioners often quote the word cooperation and transfer in an interchangeable way though in the discourse of south south knowledge exchange the two words have different interpretations. The question to ask is whether south south cooperation leads to convergence in the education systems of the partners in the cooperation. There is no one time static answer to this because convergence is a dynamic evolutionary concept. Scholars like Gita Steiner Khamsi suggests that convergence will require an application of the learning from the reforms of other countries into the domestic boundaries of another which has a totally different set of political, administrative and institutional setting. The need to apply can arise from external as well as country specific factors which otherwise would not have happened. A successful implementation of the learnings will need a continuous policy and institutional nudging through an interdisciplinary mode. It will also require the diffusion of the learnings and knowledge from reforms in other educational systems of other partner countries and its reapplication over the years in another country. This mechanismof learning and reapplication in different settings is quite evolutionary and will take some time to understand before it leads to an outcome that becomes an international benchmark. In order to arrive at the understanding of this process it will require continuous interdisciplinary thinking and may be in a ten years time one can come up with an understanding of a particular educational system convergence example through "South South" knowledge exchange process. Till then a continuous debate,documentation and exchange should happen in an interdisciplinary form. Therefore the time is to act now before it becomes late for ever to create a harmonised converged entity of "Global South"!