Author Archives: AidInfo

Aid spending on conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security


Key facts Funding to conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security (CPS) remains a small proportion of overall official development assistance (ODA). ODA CPS has increased by 67% since 2005, reaching a peak of US$3.9 billion in 2009. The largest CPS ODA donor in 2014 was European Union (EU) institutions. Afghanistan received the most CPS ODA by country in 2014. The majority of CPS ODA goes to peacebuilding activities.

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Nepal earthquake: One year on, what has the response been?

Immediately after the Nepal earthquake the world reacted generously, with international governments, multilateral agencies and private donors pledging support of over US$4 billion. But Nepali citizens and agencies acting on their behalf needed to know more than how much had been offered; they needed to know how money was being spent – where, when, on what and for whom – to coordinate and deliver an effective response, and for that response to be accountable to the people it was aiming to help. Yet this information was not widely available, making it impossible to ‘follow the money’, from when it leaves donors’ bank accounts, to where it is spent on the ground. Figure 1: Top ten donors to the Nepal earthquake response The Earthquake Response Transparency Portal National and international media highlighted the lack of information on how and where funds were being used, and the potential impact of this on the overall response. In reaction to local demand for information, our partner in Kathmandu, the technology organisation Young Innovations, established the Earthquake Response Transparency Portal

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Aid spending by Development Assistance Committee donors in 2015

Key findings Official development assistance (ODA) increased to a new peak in 2015: Collectively ODA from the 28 Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors totalled US$146.7 billion in 2015, compared with US$137.2 billion in 2014. (US$ figures throughout are 2014 constant prices.) 22 of the 28 DAC countries reported a real-terms increase in ODA: The largest increase in ODA in monetary terms came from Germany – a rise of US$4.3 billion, or 26%. This meant Germany overtook the UK as the second largest donor after the US. The largest percentage increases were from Greece (39%) and Sweden (37%). Most of the rise in ODA was due to increased spending on refugees within donor countries: ODA targeted on the sustenance of refugees housed in donor countries rose from US$6.6 billion in 2014 to US$13.9 billion in 2015 – by far the largest figure ever recorded

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Donors gave a record amount of aid for hosting refugees in 2015 while also increasing spending…

New data was released today by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on global aid spending. The data shows that official development assistance (ODA; also known as aid) spending on refugees in donor countries overall has more than doubled to US$13.9 billion between 2014 and 2015. However, this has not come at the expense of other aid spending. Even when excluding the spending on refugees in country, total ODA has still risen by US$2.2 billion or 1.7%.

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10 things we learnt from Nepal’s first government panel debate on open data

By Pavitra Rana from Open Nepal – a network, supported by Development Initiatives, to promote more effective development through the increased sharing and use of data Open Data Day 2016 attendees were given insight into open data issues through the lens of Nepal’s most influential data supplier – our government. The panel included the Central Bureau of Statistics, National Planning Commission, National Information Commission, National Reconstruction Authority, Nepal Telecommunications Authority, and the Public Procurement Monitoring Office. The event created a welcome platform for data users to engage with data suppliers and learn about the government’s readiness for better data sharing, use, reuse and redistribution. 10 things we learnt from the panel discussion On commitments There is a lot of support in government for open data.

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People in rural areas risk being left behind as aid to water and sanitation appears to provide…

Today we celebrate World Water Day 2016,[1] coordinated by UN-Water as a reminder that water has the power to transform people’s lives. While the world met the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 88% of people accessing improved[2] water sources, 748 million people were still using unimproved water sources in 2012 with rural areas lagging behind in access, particularly in least developed countries and in sub-Saharan Africa.[3] Financing for water and sanitation is the key for countries to achieve Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. All financial resources play a role in supporting the delivery of basic services including water and sanitation, and aid plays a unique role in the way it can be targeted to poverty reduction and service delivery in the most deprived and vulnerable contexts. Where domestic financial resources are lacking, aid is a vital resource that can be targeted to meet needs in water and sanitation.[4] Figure 1: Aid to water and sanitation, constant 2013 prices, 2003 to 2014 Source: OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Creditor Reporting System (CRS) Aid for water and sanitation appears to provide relatively less support to rural areas Aid to water and sanitation has steadily increased in volume, at a similar pace to overall ODA. ODA to the sector consistently represents 4–5% of all ODA;[5] however, available data indicates that people in rural areas may be being left behind.

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To meet the urgent needs of people affected by the Syria crisis, donors must promptly deliver…

As the Syria conflict enters its sixth year, the overwhelming scale of displacement and needs both within Syria and in the wider region continues to rise.[1] A record of more than US$11 billion was pledged to meet immediate and longer term needs of people affected in the region at the Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London in February 2016. A total of US$5.9 billion was pledged for 2016, and a further US$5.5 billion for 2017 to 2020. Almost six weeks on, there is a considerable shortfall between funding pledged at the conference and funding received and reported, with only 11% of the funds pledged for 2016 (US$680.3 million) recorded on the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS). Following the conference there has been very little additional funding committed, according to the FTS, with total funds committed after the conference being lower than those prior to the conference. Funding pledged at the 2016 Supporting Syria and the Region conference has not yet translated into a notable increase in spending Source: Development Initiatives based on the UN OCHA’s FTS and Co-host’s statement annex: fundraising summary.

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Modernising ODA loans: impact of new DAC reporting rules (part 2)

In part 1 of this blog series, we looked at the rule changes around measuring loan concessionality and some possible implications of these. This second part examines the possible impact of these changes on the overall levels of official development assistance (ODA) reported by donors. Including repayments of ODA loans in the total aid figures To understand this impact we need to note that the changes in measurement of concessionality are accompanied by a change in the way that loan repayments are treated. Under the new rules, the headline ODA figures will not be adjusted for capital repayments from recipients of loans. Essentially, donors will no longer subtract loan repayments from their headline ODA figures.

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The proportion of aid that is specifically targeted at gender remains low

The ambition to address global gender inequality is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the commitment to leave no one behind. Global Goal 5 seeks to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. In order to track the extent that donors are delivering on global policy commitments on gender equality, reporting on gender-related spending is critical. Reporting on such spending through the OECD DAC’s gender equality policy marker has improved over recent years. The proportion of total official development assistance (ODA, commonly known as aid) coded with the marker has increased steadily from 52% in 2008, when the gender policy marker was established, to a high of 75% in 2014

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Where did peacekeeping money go in 2014?

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa received the largest volumes of funding for peacekeeping operations in 2014, reflecting the high levels of conflict and instability experienced in the region. The most went to Sudan (US$1.6 billion), followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (US$1.4 billion), Mali and South Sudan (both US$1.1 billion). Source: Development Initiatives’ calculations based on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 2015 yearbook, chapter 5. Note: Costs for multi-country missions have been shared equally between individual participating countries. A smaller share of funding for peacekeeping operations in 2014 was channelled to countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.

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Aid as a proportion of international resources is much bigger for fragile states than other…

In 2014, official development assistance (ODA, commonly known as aid) made up a quarter of total international resources for the 20 most fragile countries in the world. This compares with ODA as just 7% of the total international resources that went to all other developing countries (see figures below). This highlights the increasingly important role that ODA plays in meeting the needs of vulnerable people in fragile contexts where national and local capacities are most lacking. For some countries affected by very high levels of instability and conflict, ODA is by far the most dominant international resource, including Afghanistan (83%), Somalia (73%) and Syria (71%).

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New report shows some of the world’s most fragile countries are missing out on aid designed…

A new report by the international development organisation Development Initiatives has found there are several fragile states that are not being prioritised for vital funds to help with conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security. The report, Investments in peace and security, found that Chad and the Central African Republic receive particularly low funds given their relatively high levels of fragility. They received US$11.5 million and US$19.8 million, respectively, in 2014 yet score higher on the 2014 Fund for Peace Fragile States Index than Afghanistan, which received US$486 million in the same year. The Ukraine also received considerably more despite being classed as 40% less fragile. Sarah Dalrymple, Senior Policy Adviser at Development Initiatives, said, “Aid for peace and security is relatively low at just US$3.2 billion – dwarfed by US$165 billion of aid spent in total

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Investments in peace and security

Promoting peace and security is an essential foundation for sustainable development in fragile and conflict-affected countries. The imperative to address fragility, conflict and insecurity has become a central focus of global development processes. This has culminated in the inclusion of Global Goal 16 on ‘inclusive and peaceful societies’ in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the mandate to look beyond aid to include much broader sources of finance. It is important to therefore understand the current financing landscape for peace and security and identify gaps in targeting in response to the needs of vulnerable and conflict-affected people.

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New aid rules allow for the inclusion of a wider set of peace and security activities

Last week, at the High-Level Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), governments agreed to new rules that allow for a wider set of peace and security activities to be counted as official development assistance (ODA). The communiqué from the meeting maintains that all ODA must continue to have a development purpose. As such, the extension largely applies to a set of new non-coercive security-related activities with a longer term sustainable development objective. Examples include the following. Support to the civilian oversight of partner country military forces through, for example, training on issues such as human rights and the prevention of sexual violence

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