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Laura Trajber Waisbich (BA, MRes)

Laura Trajber Waisbich (BA, MRes)

PhD candidate, Cambridge Trust Scholar

Political scientist and international relations analyst by training, my current PhD research examines accountability politics in International Development, looking at how accountability is being conceived, negotiated and operationalised in countries engaged in South-South Cooperation.


Over seven years of research and policy experience in the field of international relations and international development, having worked for think-tanks and international non-governmental organizations based in Brazil, Belgium and the United States. As a researcher I have often engaged in transnational comparative research projects in/on Global South countries, particularly on the so-called emerging powers.

My research interests lie at the crossroad of International Development Cooperation and South-South Development Cooperation, particularly Brazilian Development Cooperation and Citizen Participation and Mobilization, including citizen participation in social policies and in emerging powers' foreign policy. Previously, I have also worked on international human rights issues, including foreign policy and human rights in Southern democracies, human rights-based approach to development, and human rights and national security.

As a critical researcher committed to social change, I have attempted to produce knowledge for action, often engaging in dissemination efforts both within academia and beyond.



  • 2008-2010: Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), Research Master's in political science and International Relations, distinction (Mention Bien) Eiffel Scholar
  • 2007-2008 Dual Degree Program (Cursus Intégré – PUC-SP/Sciences Po Paris), Sciences Po Undergraduate College on Latin America, Portugal and Spain (Poitiers Campus)
  • 2005-2009: Catholic University of Sao Paulo, BA in International Relations


Current PhD research

Negotiating Accountability in South-South Cooperation for Development

The rise of South-South cooperation (SSC) - in visibility, resource and importance – is one of the main features of the current international development landscape. Southern emerging economies, notably the BICS – Brazil, India, China and South Africa, and others in Asia, Africa and Latin America, today play an important role in shaping and re-shaping ideas, practices and norms in the highly politicized, yet softly-regulated, international development arena.

This thesis is concerned with how accountability, a disputed concept and a major pillar of the existing Development Effectiveness Paradigm, is being conceived and pursued in SSC.

Through a transnational comparative exercise, I use a multi-case study to elucidate how accountability politics are dynamically evolving in Southern partners' development cooperation, what are the main existing and conflicting narratives around accountability in SSC, who are the main actors shaping them and what types of SSC accountability politics are currently found in Brazil, India, China and in the BRICS-led New Development Bank.

Selected list of past research projects

  • (2017) Open Government Partnership Independent Reporting Mechanism, Subnational Pilot Programme, São Paulo – Independent researcher
  • (2016-2017) The New Development Bank: a strategy for civil society engagement – Leading researcher from Articulação SUL. Commissioned by the Oxfam Confederation
  • (2016-2017) Monitoring and measurement of Brazilian South-South Cooperation flows – Member of the research team from Articulação SUL. Done in partnership with Oxfam Brazil
  • (2016-2018) The Accountability Politics of Reducing Health Inequities: Learning from Brazil and Mozambique - Member of the research team from Cebrap. Project funded by the ESRC-DFID Poverty Alleviation 2014-15
  • (2016) Impact evaluation of the World Food Program Centre of Excellence Against Hunger in Brazil (2011-2016) - Member of the research team from Articulação SUL
  • (2013) Open Government Partnership, Independent Reporting Mechanism, Brazil 2011-2013 – Member of the research team from Cebrap
  • (2012-2014) State of the Debate: Brazil country study - IDS Rising Powers in International Development programme - Member of the research team from Cebrap. Project funded by DFID-UK
  • (2014-2017) Observatory 'Brazil and the South' – Member of the research team at Articulação SUL


Selected publications:


  • POMEROY, M.; WAISBICH, L. "Formatos e Determinantes da Participação Social em agendas da Política Externa Brasileira". Revista Brasileira de Políticas Públicas e Internacionais, 4(1), pp.105-130
  • WAISBICH, L.T; SHANKLAND, A.; BLOOM, G. and COELHO, V.S.P. "Introduction: The Accountability Politics of Reducing Health Inequalities: Learning from Brazil and Mozambique". Novos estudos CEBRAP, vol.38, n.2, pp.271-289
  • WAISBICH, L., & COELHO, V. "Participation and Transformative Justice: Reflections on the Brazilian Experience". In P. Gready & S. Robins (Eds.), From Transitional to Transformative Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 215-234

  • POMEROY, M.; SUYAMA, B.; WAISBICH, L. "The Diffusion of Social Protection and Food Security Policies: Emerging Issues in Brazilian South-South Cooperation for Development". In. Osmany Porto De Oliveira, Cecilia Osorio Gonnet, Sergio Montero, Cristiane Kerches da Silva Leite (Eds). Latin America and Policy Diffusion, From Import and Export, Routledge


  • WAISBICH, L. T (2018) "Democracy and South-South Cooperation in IBSA Countries: Emerging Legislative Debates"". Development Cooperation Review Vol.1, No. 9, 3-13
  • POMEROY, M.; WAISBICH, L. T. (2018) "Avaliando a Cooperação Técnica Sul-Sul do Brasil: Reflexões de uma prática em construção". In. COSTA, M. A. et al (Ed). Práticas de Avaliação da Cooperação Internacional no Brasil/Organização de Melissa Andrade Costa. – Brasília: Nikê Consultoria


  • POMEROY, M.; WAISBICH, L.; LOPES, L. Building an agenda for the monitoring and evaluation of South-South cooperation for development, Policy Brief, São Paulo: Articulação Sul
  • WAISBICH, L.; CETRA, R.; MARCHEZINI, J. The Transparency Frontier in Brazilian Foreign Policy, Revista Contexto Internacional, 2017, Vol. 39 (1), p. 179-200
  • WAISBICH, L.T.; SILVA, Daniel M.; SUYAMA, B. Monitoring and Measuring of South-South Cooperation Flows in Brazil. Briefing, March 2017. São Paulo: Articulação Sul (Also available in Portuguese)


  • SCHATTAN, V. R.P.C.; WAISBICH, L. Participatory mechanisms and inequality reduction: searching for plausible relations, Journal of Public Deliberation: 12:2, Article 13
  • SUYAMA, B.; WAISBICH, L. T.; LEITE, I.C. Brazil as a development partner under Lula and Dilma: Shifts and continuities In. Jing Gu; Alex Shankland; Anu Chenoy; Richard Carey; Li Xiaoyun (eds). The BRICS in International Development: The State of the Debate, Londres: Palgrave Macmillan
  • POMEROY, M.; WAISBICH, L. O lugar do Sul na política externa brasileira do governo provisório, Blog do GRRI, 19/05/2016


  • WAISBICH, L.; ASANO, C. Opinião: Dilma tem chance de mudar a política externa, Folha de São Paulo, 20 February


  • ASANO, C. L.; WAISBICH, L. T. Livro Branco: o Itamaraty está mudado?, Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil, São Paulo, p. 19, 03 Feb. 2014
  • NADER, L.; WAISBICH, L. The Long March Towards the Democratization of Brazilian Foreign Policy. In. Rising power Brazil and human rights diplomacy, Amsterdam: Amnesty International - The Netherlands, 2014
  • WAISBICH, L. T. Transnationalisation as Mediation: Uyghur's Rights-Based Mobilisation Outside China. In: Bettina von Lieres; Laurence Piper. (eds.). Mediated Citizenship The Informal Politics of Speaking for Citizens in the Global South. 1ed.Londres: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 219-234
  • LEITE, I.C. ; SUYAMA, B. ; WAISBICH, L. T. ; POMEROY, M. Brazil s Engagement in International Development Cooperation: The State of the Debate, Brighton;Sao Paulo: IDS; CEBRAP; Articulação Sul
  • BORGES, C.; WAISBICH, L. T. The BRICS New Development Bank and the integration of human rights into development cooperation: a new era or more of the same?, Washington DC: Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America
  • WAISBICH, L.; POMEROY, M. Haiti - Um laboratório de engajamento multisetorial. São Paulo: Observatório Brasil e o Sul, Articulação Sul


  • LEITE, I. C.; SUYAMA, B.; WAISBICH, L. T. Para além do tecnicismo: a Cooperação Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Internacional e caminhos para sua efetividade e democratização, Policy Brief, São Paulo: Articulação Sul; Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento


  • GARAVITO, C.R.; KWEITEL, J.; WAISBICH, L.T. Development and Human Rights: Some Ideas on How to Restart the Debate. Sur. International Journal on Human Rights, v. 9, n. 17, Dec. (Also available in Portuguese and Spanish)

External activities