Aid down slightly in 2014, but what else does the new DAC data tell us?

by Rob Tew

After reaching a peak in 2013, official development assistance (ODA) fell by 0.5% in real terms in 2014: Collectively, ODA from the 28 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) country donors (DAC-28) totalled US$134.4 billion in 2014, compared with US$135.1 billion in 2013 (all data in constant 2013 prices).[1]

15 of the 28 DAC countries saw ODA levels fall: The largest fall was recorded by Japan, with ODA falling by US$1.8 billion. Japan’s increase in ODA in 2013 was boosted by exchange rate factors and one-off debt relief to Myanmar. France recorded a reduction of US$1 billion in 2014.  This follows a similarly large fall in 2013, meaning that French ODA has declined by 18% over the last two years.

However, 13 donors recorded increased ODA: Total ODA from Germany rose by US$1.7 billion, while ODA from the US and Sweden rose by US$0.7 billion and US$0.6 billion, respectively.

Proportional changes in DAC-28 ODA, 2013–2014 (constant 2013 prices)


Five DAC donors still meet 0.7%:
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg and the UK all maintained ODA above the UN 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) target. The UK maintained 0.7% having reached this level for the first time in 2013. By contrast, the Netherlands fell below 0.7%, having met 0.7% from 1975 until 2012.

Although most donors (18) saw ODA as a proportion of GNI fall: Norway saw the largest relative fall among DAC donors (1.07% to 0.99%), though it remains the third most generous DAC donor using this measure. Other significant falls were reported by Ireland (0.46% to 0.38%), Australia (0.33% to 0.27%) and France (0.41% to 0.36%).


* Three donors (Japan, Sweden and UK) use SNA93/ESA95 as the basis for calculating GNI.

Most donors have changed how they calculate GNI: 25 of the DAC-28 have adopted a new international measure of GNI against which they report their ODA. This tends to lead to slight upward revisions of GNI and so corresponding falls in ODA/GNI ratios. The three donors still reporting ODA as a share of GNI on the old measure of GNI are Japan, Sweden (who reported a rise in this measure from 1.01% to 1.10%) and the UK (who reported just over 0.7% for the second year running).

Download the data


[1] All US$ figures in this note are 2013 constant prices.

* Three donors (Japan, Sweden and UK) use SNA93/ESA95 as the basis for calculating GNI.


OECD, DAC 2014 provisional data release, 8 April 2015, advance 2014 spreadsheet and DAC database, table 1