Foreign Assistance Policies of India and China

International development assistance has traditionally been dominated by former colonial powers and wealthy industrialized nations. But today, emerging economies are beginning to make their mark: these new, emerging donors are an increasingly important source of financial flows into poor countries. India, for example, is among the top five donors to Afghanistan. Understanding what motivates emerging donors is of interest to both recipient countries and members of the established donor community.

This grant supports a comparative study of the emerging foreign aid programs of India and China. The study analyzes these programs in the context of the international aid regime and each country's long-term economic and foreign policy strategies. The study will be jointly undertaken by Indian and Chinese scholars.

Both countries tend to operate on the basis of regional and international power politics and their own national interests in pursuing aid policies, particularly vis-à-vis their neighbours. While the aid policies of these countries have garnered attention, there is, as yet, little understanding of their systems and strategies. This study addresses this gap by updating data on each country's foreign assistance and mapping the institutions involved, the beneficiaries, the sectors they are investing in, and their funding approaches. It also examines the underlying philosophy that guides each country's foreign assistance policies.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, March 29, 2012

End Date

Friday, February 28, 2014


18 months

IDRC Officer

LUDWICK, Teralynn

Total funding

CA$ 56,000


China, Far East Asia, India, North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Central Asia, South Asia, Afghanistan

Project Leader

Dr. Eswaran Sridharan


University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India

Institution Country


Institution Website