Uneven convergence in development? The case of India’s lines of credit to Africa

Research output: Working paper


This paper examines the uneven convergence between Indian development cooperationand the (so-called) ‘traditional’ development establishment. Using the case of Indiangovernment concessional lines of credit (LoCs), handled by the Export–Import Bank, itdemonstrates how diplomatic, strategic and party-political interests drove a major revision inLoC policy in 2015. The Indian government directly adopted policies from the World Bankand the UK’s Department for International Development on project selection and design,tendering and monitoring. These were designed to increase technical proficiency, timelinessand development outcomes but also to bring about a change in the companies undertakingthese projects. Such policies indicate some degree of departure from the non-interventionist,non-hierarchical norms of India’s original South–South Cooperation, whereby the recipient(in theory) exclusively made decisions over what projects were done and how. To someextent, that role is now shared. This partially mirrors changes among the DAC donors, manyof whom are redefining the definition of OECD Official Development Assistance (ODA),increasing blended finance and focusing more on economic development (and less onpoverty reduction). However, while converging in these aspects of technical planning andimplementation, the political and strategic interests driving the LoC changes did not extendto examining developmental or environmental outcomes; state-to-state relations continue tohave primacy in the project-approval process. The paper therefore finds unevenconvergence in India’s development cooperation, with change in technical policies butgreater persistence in norms. This reflects the wider multidirectional evolution of the globaldevelopment sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherFutureDAMS/IUKDP Working Paper
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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