Emerging actors, such as providers of South-South cooperation (SSC), are increasingly playing a role in peacebuilding, particularly in fragile states and conflict-affected areas. While there is much discussion on the role of emerging donors in sustainable development, there is little empirical evidence on their contribution to peacebuilding and state building. Joint research by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Center for International Cooperation (CIC) analysed the features of South African and Turkish assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia respectively, to unpack what sets these emerging economies apart from Western powers operating in similar environments. This paper compares the peacebuilding approaches of South Africa and Turkey and attempts to assess their effectiveness in relation to the approaches of traditional donors. Evidence from the two case studies shows that, while operating under different paradigms, principles and drivers, Southern providers not only bring substantive support to fragile states but also get different types of results and responses from host countries. While it is still difficult to discern a clear ‘Southern peacebuilding model’, emerging economies play an important role in promoting peaceful and inclusive societies and accountable institutions, in their region and internationally.