Is SDG tracking best done at village level? The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ratified by UN member states and a multitude of development actors, were the world’s biggest promise to keep development and poverty eradication on the international agenda at a time when interest in global issues was waning. The MDGs provided a set of eight goals, each with specific targets and indicators to track the world’s progress on development issues. These were backed by a multitude of international commitments to address certain components of the MDGs and to direct financing and technical support towards specific areas identified by the goals. There were some key successes, such as a 66% increase in official development assistance in the period 2000–2014 and a reduction of the total number of people living in poverty
Author Archives: AidInfo
Agenda 2030 is clear in its ambitions—everyone should be included in global progress over the next 15 years. But most discussions of progress focus on aggregated economic numbers such as gross domestic product (GDP) growth, not on the status of people. Even key measures about people such as GDP per capita are aggregated to the point that they can’t meaningfully say if people are being left behind or not. In our background paper we describe a methodology that looks at existing indicators on people to track the status of the most vulnerable. Instead of looking at specific poverty lines, we focus on the progress of the group of people who are most likely to be left behind
The potential role of blended finance – the use of public-sector funds to mobilise private investments for the financing of development projects – has gained increasing interest and recognition from international policy dialogues and recent UN agreements. This includes the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Donors are already pledging to scale up their efforts to use aid in blended finance partnerships with private actors. We therefore need to improve the evidence base on blended finance, which is currently very limited, to ensure it can reach its full potential in financing the 2030 Agenda and that its impacts are understood, transparent and accountable. This paper sets out 10 key questions we intend to answer on blended finance.
The Global Goals for Sustainable Development offer an historic opportunity to eradicate extreme poverty and ensure no one is left behind. To realise this opportunity, Development Initiatives will be working with two other international non-profit organisations CIVICUS and Project Everyone, with the support of the UK’s Department for International Development, on a new global initiative called the the Leave No-one Behind Partnership. Its aim is to directly support the interests of the world’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people. At the heart of the project is the responsibility to listen and respond to the voices of the world’s most impoverished communities and those that are excluded and at risk of violence and discrimination. Together the project partners will work to ensure that the needs of the most marginalised are brought to the forefront of policy and are recipients of the resources and programmes being mobilised under the 2030 Agenda.
The JUDS project is about unlocking the potential of data to help drive poverty eradication and sustainable development. This is important because, although more and more data is becoming available, the full potential of the information it holds often remains inaccessible due to its publication in different formats or standards. The problem stems from the incompatible design of definitions and classifications, which prevent data from being comparable and systems from being interoperable. The JUDS Project has explored practical examples of incomparable classifications – such as those involved in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – and is provoking discussion on what is needed to catalyse interoperability. Speaking about the consultation paper, Bill Anderson, DI’s Data & Information Architect, said: “We believe that it is time to move beyond recognising the challenge of interoperability and explore what solutions look like
As you can imagine we are devastated. Simon was an incredible person who had been with Development Initiatives (DI) for many years. His work on the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) – work that began while the project was still in its infancy – was key to its success. Simon subsequently took the lead on our Access to Information work, establishing the programme and partnerships in Nepal, as well as helping to get our work off the ground in East Africa. He was loved and respected by so many people he worked with, both within DI and beyond
GPGs are commonly defined as goods that are non-rival (consumption by one person does not diminish consumption by another), non-excludable (no one can be excluded from their benefits) and which cover more than one group of countries. Examples of GPGs include climate change mitigation, communicable disease prevention and global peace and security. ODA is well positioned to play a role as a funding source for certain GPGs; its main objective is to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries, enabling it to be targeted towards funding specific GPGs. However, ODA is increasingly recognised as a scarce and precious resource with competing demands, attention is therefore turning to questioning the role development cooperation should play in providing GPGs. This discussion paper takes a first step, outlining an analytical approach to assessing ODA for GPGs
Poverty reduction has been an explicit overarching objective among many developing countries and their development partners since the late 1990s. National budgets have often featured poverty reduction and/or welfare improvement as an explicit or implied objective during this period – hence the concept of pro-poor budgeting. However, the concept of budgets targeted at reducing poverty remains an area of debate, despite having a two-decade-long history. Much of the evidence informing assessments of the pro-poor orientation of budgets was gained when the concept was fairly new and focused mainly on spending.
Open Nepal is a network, supported by Development Initiatives, to promote more effective development through the increased sharing and use of data. Over the past few months, workshops and events have taken place around the theme of opening up government data. Various government agencies have released datasets through online platforms, allowing Nepalese civil society to undertake a number of assessments on the openness of such data. But there remains a gap between the availability of open government data and its positive impact on development. Even in countries ahead of the curve, such initiatives have at times failed to provide value.
Top findings ODA to health (including both general health, population policies/programmes and reproductive health) more than doubled in real terms between 2005 and 2013 but went down in 2014 due to a drop in disbursements from multilateral bodies. Although total ODA disbursements to health rose in real terms in most years since 2005, the proportion of ODA going to the health sector has remained fairly constant at between 12% and 14% each year since 2007. Many studies on aid to health seem to be driven by the need to inform global processes and forums such as the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. These tend to assess the qualitative side of aid (aid effectiveness). The extent to which these studies have influenced decisions requires more inquiry.
Beneficiary feedback provides an opportunity for the beneficiaries to have a say about the services, projects and initiatives provided to them. Such feedback is a channel connecting beneficiaries and donors, which allows donor agencies to ensure that the needs of their beneficiaries are being met. Development Initiatives undertook research to assess the application of the beneficiary feedback mechanisms used by nine donor agencies involved in the delivery of aid assistance in Kenya and Uganda. We identified the challenges they faced and noted the key lessons for future application. This report seeks to provide donors with the key evidence and lessons to inform their future use and application of beneficiary feedback mechanisms in development assistance.
Ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been agreed by UN member states, but there is a significant financing gap for developing countries aiming to meet these goals, estimated at trillions of US dollars annually. This gap is very unlikely to be filled by official development assistance (ODA). Many of the least developed countries (LDCs) will face severe challenges in mobilising enough domestic resources to meet these financing needs. In this light, the private sector is increasingly being considered by development actors for its role in the new ‘global partnership for development’ and in mobilising finance to fill these gaps. The target to increase use of public–private partnerships for financing development is now explicit in the SDG agenda.
Today Development Initiatives published their Global Humanitarian Assistance report, which finds that Gulf donors have significantly increased their contributions of international humanitarian assistance, contributing to a record total of US$28 billion given last year. Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar collectively gave 11 per cent of the global total in 2015 – compared to 3 per cent in 2011. The UAE was the world’s seventh largest donor last year, contributing US$1.1 billion – a substantial increase (193 per cent) from the year before. When contributions are taken as a percentage of gross national income, Kuwait is the second largest donor (0.33 per cent GNI), while the UAE is the third largest (0.25 per cent GNI), behind only Turkey. Kuwait has increased its contributions by a significant 86 per cent from the year before