Advancing South-South Learning in Asia – Marvin Taylor-Dormond | Asian Development Bank

Advancing South-South Learning in Asia – Marvin Taylor-Dormond

Speech | 4 July 2018

Opening remarks by Marvin Taylor-Dormond, Director-General, Independent Evaluation Department, ADB, at the learning event on Advancing South-South Knowledge Sharing in Asia, 4 Juy 2018 at the Korea Development Institute, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Vice President of KDI, Youngjae Lim,

Former President KDI, Joon Kyung Kim

Director General, International Economic Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Strategy and Finance Kyushik Suh

Distinguished Panelists, Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen 

A very warm welcome, colleagues, partners in development to this beautiful city of Seoul, Republic of Korea and this event.

This learning event is an annual commitment of the Independent Evaluation Department of the Asian Development Bank, as part of our advocacy for promoting knowledge sharing alongside the accountability dimension of our work in development evaluation. This year we are proud of partnering with the Korean Development Institute in collaboration with The Asia Foundation and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) to address the important subject of South-South knowledge sharing for development.

Automotive knowledge innovator Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”. This is a good way of describing the intentions behind our event today on Advancing South-South Learning in Asia and the Pacific.

Coming together is the beginning. South-South cooperation has been a key organizing concept and an integral part of Asia’s road to development and progress. Our region has had a long history of South-South cooperation that in modern days includes the Colombo Plan of 1950, the Asian-African Conference -- or Bandung Conference of 1955 -- and the creation itself of ADB as multilateral financial institution of the region for the region.  These events and our continuous regional efforts to reach out to each other have embraced the tenets of South-South cooperation such as promoting our common interest in and support for our regional economic and social development; sharing technical knowledge and assistance, and technology diffusion; and facilitating the transfer and mutual learning in the development arena.  We can say with confidence that this common purpose of collaborating for advancing development in Asia remains a strong impetus across our countries to this day.

Keeping together is progress. Mutual commitment in ensuring progress in the region is testified through the numerous partnerships and cooperation framework that our countries have established. Notable among these are ASEAN and SAARC where tangible results concerning increased flows in trade, capital and technology have been realized. Likewise, these frameworks have helped us address social and environmental challenges like humanitarian and disaster risk reduction and transboundary natural resource conservation. Here again, South-South cooperation through knowledge sharing and learning remain at the forefront in supporting these initiatives.

Finally, working together is success.  Working together through an enhanced South-South partnership and learning is critical for succeeding in tackling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This broad and demanding Agenda for the people, prosperity and planet, including the high objective of eradicating poverty once and for all, resonates deeply in Asia where despite the extraordinary progress of the last thirty years, development remains an unfinished task. Widespread poverty and inequality, as well as environmental degradation and climate change impacts, remain pressing issues for the region.

Colleagues, you will all agree that as a result of its extraordinary progress and development, both in magnitude and speed, South Korea has abundant experiences, knowledge and wisdom to share with the region and the world. This is why I would like to express our deep and humble appreciation to KDI for accepting to work with IED in this the joint initiative. Thank you so much, President Lim and former President Kim.

I would also like to thank our distinguished guests and resource speakers for coming here and taking their valuable time to share with us their precious knowledge.  

Lastly, I would like to thank you, the participants coming from all regions of Asia – South, Southeast, Central and the Pacific as well those coming from here locally, for your support and interest in this South-South knowledge exchange.

An old Korean proverb says: “A large heap of beads becomes a treasure only when strung together”. Knowledge too becomes valuable only when put together and is dedicated to a cause. So, let us magnify the value of our knowledge today by putting it together to better understand the strategic importance and way of boosting south-south learning for the benefit of those left behind in our region.

Thank you.