Over the last decade, Germany emerged as a leading provider of development finance. Since 2016, Germany has consistently been the second largest bilateral provider of official development assistance (ODA), and in 2020, it was the only G7 member to meet the 0.7 percent ODA/GNI spending target due to its generous increases in ODA in response to COVID-19.
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A year ago, the UK Government announced the integration of the Department for International Development (DFID) into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which became the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Soon after the merger, the UK’s development budget was cut by £4.5 billion and reduced from 0.7 percent to 0.5 percent of gross national income (GNI). The cuts—which disproportionately hit bilateral spending and some UN agencies—have seen steep reductions in support for some of the world’s poorest countries.
There is a lot of money being spent on official development assistance (ODA). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) confirmed recently that countries provided over $160 billion in ODA in 2020. But ten years on from the global agreement reached in Busan, South Korea to improve the quality of how development cooperation is delivered, what do we know about how well provider countries and multilateral agencies spend that money?