• Briefing
  • 6 March 2015

Brazil as an international actor

This briefing maps the landscape of the development cooperation debate in Brazil.


Brazilian development cooperation has gained prominence in recent years. Some developing countries would like to learn development lessons from Brazil, whose reputation is that of a democracy that combines political stability, economic growth and poverty reduction. Brazil halved poverty ahead of the Millennium Development Goals deadline and puts eradicating poverty at the centre of its official post-2015 engagement strategy.

Although Brazil’s economy has worsened, Brazil remains a likely candidate to lead an emerging development agenda from the global South. This briefing maps the landscape of the development cooperation debate in Brazil and argues that, to fully pursue this role, a domestic constituency of support for Brazilian development cooperation is needed.

A more energetic foreign policy has led to increased domestic attention to development cooperation by Brazil. The community involved is growing, but fragile. The main priority of these stakeholders is to ensure that Brazilian development cooperation, which is largely based on sharing expertise of national policies with other countries, promotes an inclusive and sustainable development model. Their key demands are:

  • A more accountable, functional, transparent and inclusive institutional and legal framework, including the establishment of a multi-stakeholder council of foreign relations
  • Clearer alignment between the principles that drive Brazil’s international engagement with its development cooperation practice
  • Better information on the impact of Brazilian development cooperation in partner countries
  • A more transparent and responsible national development bank, in particular regarding its operations abroad.

Portuguese translation / Versão em português

Brazil as an international actor is available in Portuguese

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