chapter  15
Valuing Possibility: South-South Cooperation and Participatory Budgeting in Maputo, Mozambique
ByGabriella Y. Carolini
Pages 19

Though political, economic, and technical cooperation between countries in the global South is not a new phenomenon, the latest manifestation of South-South Cooperation (SSC) initiatives among actors at the scale of the city is of special interest to the planning community. SSC is a decentralizing and diversifying field, in line with the high-mobility zeitgeist of international urban policy and project collaboration of our times. Indeed, the start of the twenty-first century has been well marked already by the acceleration of urban policy and planning knowledge exchanges and cross-border policy adaptations. In the economic geography literature, this phenomenon of “policy mobility” or sharing lessons and implementation experiences has been well documented among countries in the higher-income bracket (McCann and Ward, 2011; Mcfarlane, 2010; Peck, 2011). However, “fast” policy and planning mobility or diffusion is not limited to the cities of the global North. Though traditionally discussed at the national level, the nature of exchanges, and especially power dynamics therein, are of great policy and scholarly interest in both the global North and South (Alden, Morphet, and Vieira, 2010; Alden and Vieira, 2005; Braveboy-Wagner, 2009; Chaturvedi, 2012; Robinson, 2006, 2011). This chapter concentrates on exchanges and cooperation among actors in the South – specifically between Brazil and Mozambique – at the urban level, to begin exploring and understanding their impact on urban development in such contexts. Two overriding objectives guide the following discussion: first, to outline the history and trajectory of sub-national SSC initiatives; second, to understand whether there are any identifiably specific characteristics or values of such SSC initiatives in urban development. This latter objective is explored through an examination of SSC between Brazil and Mozambique in the Mozambican capital of Maputo – particularly through the introduction of participatory budgeting

exercises there. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the outstanding implications of SSC for urban development, contending that it promotes a productive proximate-peer learning environment. Through flexibility in implementation of reforms and through including and balancing contributions from a wide cross-cut of development stakeholders – or thick cooperation – the participatory budgeting exercise in Maputo bears testament to the value of SSC as a means of correcting for historical power imbalances in development reforms and projects.