For the last 5 years Development Initiatives has been part of a team co-authoring the DATA Report, an annual report monitoring the historic commitments made by the G7 and EU at the 2005 Gleneagles Summit to assist sub-Saharan Africa meet their Millennium Development Goals.
With publication of 2010 ODA levels, the DATA Report 2011 was the last in a series of 5 reports. It reviews donor performance over the last five years, and looks forward to ODA prospects and needs up to 2015.
It concludes that between 2004 and 2010, the G7 increased their official development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa by $11.2 billion against the $18.2 billion originally promised at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005. The G7, therefore, met just 61% of the target increase promised at Gleneagles. The majority of the G7 shortfall was down to Germany, Italy and to a lesser extent France who respectively met 23%, -2% and 45% of target increases promised. The group of 23 DAC donors as a whole met just 56% of the target increase promised to the region delivering an additional $13.5 billion; this against the pledge of an additional $24.1 billion.
The focus of this year’s data report moved away from the traditional monitoring of the Gleneagles commitment of DAC ODA flows to consider in greater detail more contemporary developmental themes concerning resources to Africa. First and foremost, the prominence of the G20 as a bloc has meant that the role of emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil can no longer be overlooked. The burgeoning trade relations that these countries have with Africa, witnessed in the recent India-Africa Summit in Addis Ababa, merits greater attention as to what these countries give to the continent in terms of development assistance, and is explored in the Report.
Secondly the report looks beyond aid to consider ways in which additional financing necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved. Between 2009 and 2010 9 donors decreased their aid levels to developing countries; this increases to 12 when just considering aid to sub-Saharan Africa. This austerity drive in recent months amongst certain donors, magnifies the importance of innovative financing mechanisms. President Nicolas Sarkozy has pushed these alternative methods of financing development to the top of the agenda as part of his G20 presidency. The report estimates that a combination of cutting remittance costs and issuing diaspora bonds, for instance, could raise an additional $6.7-$12.3 billion annually for sub-Saharan Africa; this alone works out to between 17-31% of what the DAC gave in official development assistance in 2010.
Thirdly is the importance of aid effectiveness in a climate of constrained resources. In the lead-up to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan later this year, and in the absence of any updated data, the report’s message continues to call on donors to increase their efforts to pursue greater transparency of development assistance flows and of developing country budgets and statistics. There is also an added impetus to include emerging donors into this debate given how up until now the debate has largely been dominated by traditional DAC donors. More recent debate has questioned who is best to lead these discussions on aid effectiveness and whether the UN should naturally take over this role from the OECD.
Lastly the report has now looked beyond 2010 and considered aid commitments to the region by 2015 (see graph below). Herein lies the challenge that since the Gleneagles Summit there have been no new aid commitments promised apart from the EU target of achieving 0.7% ODA/GNI goal by 2015 with half of all increases going to Africa (including North Africa). The report calls for non-EU donors to set new development assistance targets and for all donors to clarify their 2015 goals for Africa in accordance with the TRACK principles.
The full DATA Report 2011 can be found at http://www.one.org/data/
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