Networks for Prosperity

Networks are an important means for developing countries to exchange knowledge and speed their economic development. By working through an integrated and networked approach, multilateral stakeholders, national and local governments as well as private entities are better equipped to approach development processes in a more effective, inclusive and transparent way.

Originally funded by the government of Spain’s MDG Achievement Fund, the Networks for Prosperity initiative analyzes the impact of knowledge networks and interconnectedness in socio-economic performance. The initiative aims to facilitate developing countries’ access knowledge related to inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID), in accordance to their needs and requirements. 

To-date, four reports of the initiative have been prepared jointly by UNIDO and the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies. 

In November 2011 the Networks for Prosperity initiative published its first report, ‘Networks for Prosperity: achieving development goals through knowledge sharing’, which established a Connectedness Index that measures countries’ knowledge networks and links their level of connectedness with economic development indicators. To determine the Connectedness Index, the report took into account international, inter-organizational and intra-organizational networks established by each country.

The second report prepared by the initiative, ‘Networks for Prosperity: connecting development knowledge beyond 2015’, was launched as a side event of the Global South-South Development Expo in November 2012. This report presents a series of case studies showing the impact of networks in socio-economic performance and updates the previous year’s information on the Connectedness Index and increases the number of countries analyzed from 75 to 132.  

In November 2013, the Networks for Prosperity initiative published its third report, titled ‘Networks for Prosperity: Partnering for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development’, and focuses on the role of networks as facilitators for policy learning, information exchange and dissemination on a range of policy issues. 

The 2014 report, 'Advancing Sustainability through Partnerships', sheds light on the role that networks, platforms and partnerships will play in achieving sustainable development. It introduces an updated version of the Connectedness Index and discusses how the degree to which countries are networked at various levels has evolved over the years. 

The latest report in the series is currently being prepared and will be published in the spring of 2016.

Networks for Prosperity has developed a comprehensive view of the relevance of knowledge networks in the context of economic development programmes, and how they can be used as a tool for improving policy effectiveness and economic governance. It has thus facilitated the creation and building of knowledge networks in the field of inclusive and sustainable economic development and is having a considerable impact on the understanding and use of South-South networks in development strategies and programmes, in particular in the field of economic development.


Kazuki Kitaoka
UNIDO Project Manager
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