This article informs our understanding of how emerging donors can influence development cooperation relationships and practices through the case of Nicaragua. Findings suggest that emerging donors present opportunities for development cooperation in Nicaragua. By spurring competitive pressures, they are introducing flexibility into what was formerly a traditional donor-driven space, enhancing local ownership of the development agenda and fostering cooperation between donors. This case study also suggests that the distinction between traditional and emerging donors is increasingly blurry, illustrating the importance of looking beyond donor typologies to capture the dynamism of development actors and its influence on development trends. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.