Author Archives: AidInfo

Private development assistance: key facts and global estimates

Key facts Private development assistance is estimated at US$44.6 billion, equivalent to over a quarter of all official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries; however, data limitations mean that this figure is an underestimation of actual volumes Some private organisations provide volumes of assistance on par with government donors Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) provide over half of the estimated private development assistance; they also act as channels of delivery for around 16% of total bilateral ODA Data limitations mean that we do not have an accurate picture of the trends or characteristics of this type of finance, including how and where it is being spent – this limits informed discussion about the role and comparative strengths of private development assistance actors in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) era Private development assistance is equivalent to over a quarter of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) ODA Private development assistance includes all international concessional resource flows voluntarily transferred from private sources for international development. These flows are the private finance channelled through NGOs, foundations and corporate philanthropic activities. Other terms used interchangeably with private development assistance include international private giving, international philanthropy, voluntary giving, private development aid, and private development cooperation. Our latest estimate finds that annual private development assistance from 24 countries[1] is around US$44.6 billion in aggregate.[2] This is equivalent to over a quarter of all ODA provided to developing countries by DAC countries and multilateral institutions.[3] Over two thirds of all private development assistance comes from private sources in the United States Out of the 24 DAC countries for which private development assistance estimates are available, the United States (US) is the largest source country, contributing US$31 billion – more than the US$27 billion it provided as aid in 2013. This suggests that among DAC countries, the US is an even more significant contributor of private development assistance (providing 69% of the total in 2013) than of ODA (17% of the total in 2013)

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Somalia: an overview of poverty, vulnerability and financing

The imperative to address fragility, conflict and insecurity has become a central focus of global development processes. Following on from the agreement of the ‘New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States’ at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan in 2011, which recognised the need to take a different approach in fragile states and to address peace and security as a prerequisite for sustainable development, commitments to address fragility through development assistance have continued to gather pace. 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 is a clear example of this. Furthermore, the recent reports of the United National Secretary General (UNSG) for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)[1] and of the UN High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing[2] call for a greater proportion of aid to be targeted towards situations of fragility. To effectively measure the delivery of these commitments and ensure that assistance in fragile states meets the needs of the most vulnerable people, there is a pressing need for data.

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Definitions and measures of poverty

The purpose of this series is to simplify and clarify the underlying concepts behind poverty, and to delve deeper in discussion on topical issues as they arise throughout the process of Agenda 2030. This first briefing focuses on the building blocks of poverty definitions and measurements such as poverty lines, absolute/relative poverty, poverty gap measures and prevalence rates. It presents data on how global and regional poverty headcounts are distributed across country groupings. Download the briefing.

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Is Uganda ready to implement Agenda 2030?

The UN held a High-Level Political Forum 2016 on sustainable development in New York from 11 to 20 July. This was the first since the adoption of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. It aimed to track progress of the SDGs and address new and emerging issues. At the forum, 22 countries made voluntary reviews on their progress and readiness in implementing the SDGs, including crosscutting issues, supported by reviews by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and other inter-governmental bodies and forums. Uganda, being among the first countries to integrate Agenda 2030 in its national planning frameworks, presented a report highlighting its readiness in implementing Agenda 2030.

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Tracking the Sustainable Development Goals at village level: Our learnings from localising the…

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[1] and a reduction of the total number of people living in poverty

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The P20: methods for tracking the status of people in the poorest 20%

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

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The role of blended finance in the 2030 Agenda: setting out an analytical approach

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.

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The Leave No-one Behind Partnership

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.

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From principles to practice: Development Initiatives and Publish What You Fund launch…

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

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Simon Parrish

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

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Measuring aid to global public goods (GPGs)

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

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Leaving No One Behind – From promise to reality

Date 19 July 2016 Time 13.15-14.30 EDT Location UK Mission, One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 885 Second Avenue, New York City The first High Level Political Forum to consider the implementation and review of the Global Goals focuses on the cross-cutting aspiration of ‘Leaving no one behind’ but how can we work in partnership to make this bold promise a reality? What steps are being taken to deepen our understanding of the challenges and perspectives of those who are being left behind and what works to tackle extreme poverty and exclusion? How can all actors come together to ensure that the voices of those left behind are brought to the forefront in policy and practice, so that those who are furthest behind can be reached first? Working in partnership around the world, key international organisations have come together to launch a new global initiative: the Leave No One Behind partnership.

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Pro-poor orientation of budgets: The case of Uganda

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.

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Sharing government data in Nepal

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.

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