Net ODA received (% of central government expense)

Definition: 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).

Description: The map below shows how Net ODA received (% of central government expense) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Samoa, with a value of 61,027.85. The country with the lowest value in the world is Oman, with a value of -0.15.

Source: Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Geographical Distribution of Financial Flows to Developing Countries, Development Co-operation Report, and International Development Statistics database. Data are available online at: www.oecd.org/dac/stats/idsonline. IMF central government expense estimates are used for the denominator.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: Ratio of aid to central government expense provides measures of recipient country's dependency on aid. Ratios of aid are generally much higher in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions, and they increased in the 1980s. High ratios are due only in part to aid flows. Many African countries saw severe erosion in their terms of trade in the 1980salong with weak policies, falling incomes, imports, and investment. Thus the increase in aid dependency ratios reflects events affecting both the numerator (aid) and the denominator (central government expense). DAC exists to help its members coordinate their development assistance and to encourage the expansion and improve the effectiveness of the aggregate resources flowing to recipient economies. In this capacity DAC monitors the flow of all financial resources, but its main concern is official development assistance (ODA). Grants or loans to countries and territories on the DAC list of aid recipients have to meet three criteria to be counted as ODA. They are provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies. They promote economic development and welfare as the main objective. And they are provided on concessional financial terms (loans must have a grant element of at least 25 percent, calculated at a discount rate of 10 percent). The DAC Statistical Reporting Directives provide the most detailed explanation of this definition and all ODA-related rules. DAC statistics aim to meet the needs of policy makers in the field of development co-operation, and to provide a means of assessing the comparative performance of aid donors. DAC statistics are used extensively in the Peer Reviews conducted for each DAC member every four to five years, and have a wide range of other applications. They are used to measure donors' compliance with various international recommendations in the field of development co-operation (terms, volume), and are indispensable for analysis of virtually every aspect of development and development co-operation. From 1960 to 1990, official development assistance (ODA) flows from DAC countries to developing countries rose steadily, but then fell sharply in the 1990s. Since then, a series of high-profile international conferences have boosted ODA flows. In the mid-2000s, ODA once again rose due to exceptional debt relief operations for Iraq and Nigeria. Despite the recent financial crisis, ODA flows have continued to rise and in the early 2010s reached their highest real level ever at about US $130 billion. This demonstrates effectiveness of aid pledges, especially when they are made on the basis of adequate resources and backed by strong political will.

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.

Periodicity: Annual