Data

Development assistance as share of government expense

What you should know about this indicator

Net official development assistance (ODA) consists of disbursements of loans made on concessional terms (net of repayments of principal) and grants by official agencies of the members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), by multilateral institutions, and by non-DAC countries to promote economic development and welfare in countries and territories in the DAC list of ODA recipients. It includes loans with a grant element of at least 25 percent (calculated at a rate of discount of 10 percent).

Limitations and exceptions: Data on ODA is for aid-receiving countries. The data cover loans and grants from DAC member countries, multilateral organizations, and non-DAC donors. They do not reflect aid given by recipient countries to other developing countries. As a result, some countries that are net donors are shown as aid recipients. The indicator does not distinguish types of aid (program, project, or food aid; emergency assistance; or post-conflict peacekeeping assistance), which may have different effects on the economy.

Ratio of aid to central government expense provides measures of recipient country's dependency on aid. But care must be taken in drawing policy conclusions. For foreign policy reasons some countries have traditionally received large amounts of aid. Thus aid dependency ratio may reveal as much about a donor's interests as about a recipient's needs.

The nominal values used here may overstate the real value of aid to recipients. Changes in international prices and exchange rates can reduce the purchasing power of aid. Tying aid, still prevalent though declining in importance, also tends to reduce its purchasing power. Tying requires recipients to purchase goods and services from the donor country or from a specified group of countries. Such arrangements prevent a recipient from misappropriating or mismanaging aid receipts, but they may also be motivated by a desire to benefit donor country suppliers.

Because the indicator relies on information from donors, it is not necessarily consistent with information recorded by recipients in the balance of payments, which often excludes all or some technical assistance - particularly payments to expatriates made directly by the donor. Similarly, grant commodity aid may not always be recorded in trade data or in the balance of payments. Moreover, DAC statistics exclude aid for military and antiterrorism purposes.

The aggregates refer to World Bank classifications of economies and therefore may differ from those of the OECD.

Statistical concept and methodology: Net official development assistance (ODA) per capita consists of disbursements of loans made on concessional terms (net of repayments of principal) and grants by official agencies of the members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), by multilateral institutions, and by non-DAC countries to promote economic development and welfare in countries and territories in the DAC list of ODA recipients. It includes loans with a grant element of at least 25 percent (calculated at a rate of discount of 10 percent).

Central government expense is cash payments for operating activities of the government in providing goods and services. It includes compensation of employees (such as wages and salaries), interest and subsidies, grants, social benefits, and other expenses such as rent and dividends.

The flows of official and private financial resources from the members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to developing economies are compiled by DAC, based principally on reporting by DAC members using standard questionnaires issued by the DAC Secretariat.

The ODA excludes nonconcessional flows from official creditors, which are classified as "other official flows," and aid for military and anti-terrorism purposes. Transfer payments to private individuals, such as pensions, reparations, and insurance payouts, are in general not counted. In addition to financial flows, ODA includes technical cooperation, most expenditures for peacekeeping under UN mandates and assistance to refugees, contributions to multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and its specialized agencies, and concessional funding to multilateral development banks.

Flows are transfers of resources, either in cash or in the form of commodities or services measured on a cash basis. Short-term capital transactions (with one year or less maturity) are not counted. Repayments of the principal (but not interest) of ODA loans are recorded as negative flows. Proceeds from official equity investments in a developing country are reported as ODA, while proceeds from their later sale are recorded as negative flows.

The official development assistance estimates are published annually at the end of the calendar year in International Development Statistics (IDS) database. Net ODA received as a percent of central government expense is calculated using values in U.S. dollars converted using the DEC alternative conversion factor which is the underlying annual exchange rate used for the World Bank Atlas method.

Source
Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
1972–2021
Unit
% of central government expense

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates.

Retrieved on
May 20, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI).

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“Data Page: Development assistance as share of government expense”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from Data compiled from multiple sources by World Bank. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/development-assistance-as-share-of-government-expense [online resource]
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Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data

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Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data. “Development assistance as share of government expense” [dataset]. Data compiled from multiple sources by World Bank, “World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved June 21, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/development-assistance-as-share-of-government-expense