Tracking aid flows in light of the Covid-19 crisis
Sign up for alerts when new data is added
This interactive data tool is updated monthly to provide a real-time picture of what is happening to aid as donors publish their data. To receive an email when the tracker is updated, please subscribe to our mailing list on financing for sustainable development and crisis response.Subscribe now
This interactive data tool uses near real-time data to let you track aid commitments and disbursements in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Use the three charts to see what aid commitments and disbursements are being published by different donors (bilateral, international financial institutions and multilateral) to gain a real-time picture of trends in:
- Overall commitments and disbursements
- Poverty targeting
- Sector targeting.
The tool uses data sourced from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). Near real-time data from IATI is not curated and therefore open to changes as donors publish more recent information. This could result in changes to aspects of historical transactions as well as movement of transactions from one month to another.
See our methodology section for more detail.
Real-time aid flow tracker
The data in this tool is updated monthly. Currently the data shown covers January 2018–November 2021
Which aid flows are making up the majority of donor commitments and disbursements, by volume and proportion?
Are donors targeting aid towards countries with high rates of extreme poverty, low-income countries or the least developed countries, by volume and proportion?
Which sectors are donors prioritising, by volume and proportion?
To view this interactive visualisation use a device with a larger screen.
The data tool contains three interactive charts, which you can see by moving between the tabs. The data visualisations are best viewed on a desktop in the Chrome browser.
The controls above each chart allow you to manipulate different views of the data. You can then hover your cursor over (if on desktop) or tap (if on tablet or mobile) the bars to get more detail.
Across all three of the data visualisations, you can:
- Compare types of donors or view individual donors, using the switch under ‘Donors’
a) If comparing types of donors, add or remove categories using the checkboxes
b) If looking at individual donor, choose which donor you would like to see from the dropdown
- View aid commitments or disbursements, using the dropdown under ‘Transaction’
- View aid by volume or proportion, using the dropdown under ‘Measure’
- Add or remove years, using the checkboxes under ‘Years’.
The x-axis and y-axis will automatically adjust based on your selections.
Within the ‘Flows’ visualisation you can also:
- Add or remove flows, using the checkboxes under ‘Flows’.
Within the ‘Poverty targeting’ visualisation you can also:
- View targeting of aid towards countries where a large percentage of the population live in extreme poverty, low-income countries or the least developed countries (LDCs), using the dropdown under ‘Poverty indicator’.
a) If looking at rates of poverty, add or remove bandings for the percentage of the population living in extreme poverty using the checkboxes
b) If looking at country income, add or remove income groupings using the checkboxes
c) If looking at LDCs, add or remove LDCs or other countries using the checkboxes.
Within the ‘Sector targeting’ visualisation you can also:
- View targeting of aid towards specific sectors.
The data in the most recent edition of the tracker was updated on 20 January 2022
Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.
Notes: IFI = International financial institution; LDCs = Least developed countries; ODA = Official development assistance; OOF = Other official flows.
Development Initiatives continues to publish a range of analysis and evidence on the impacts of Covid-19 on aid flows. You can receive updates on new resources and alerts when new data is added to our data tool if you subscribe to our work on financing for sustainable development and crisis response.
Dataset title: Tracking aid flows in light of the Covid-19 crisis
Author: Dean Breed
Timeframe: January 2018–November 2021
Citation: Development Initiatives, January 2022. Tracking aid flows in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Available at: www.devinit.org/data/tracking-aid-flows-in-light-of-the-covid-19-crisis
ODA – Official development assistance
OOF – Other official flows
IATI – International Aid Transparency Initiative
IFI – International financial institution
LDCs – Least developed countries
Glossary of key terms
Aid – In this context, all humanitarian and development assistance, including official development assistance, other official flows and any other development flows reported by official actors to the International Aid Transparency Initiative.
Commitments – Amounts the donor is contracted to disburse.
Disbursements – Actual spend by donor in fulfilment of a contract.
Official development assistance – Defined by the OECD DAC.
Other official flows – Defined by the OECD DAC.
People living in extreme poverty – People living on less PPP$1.90 a day.
This tracker analyses transactions published to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). A direct download was taken (on 20 January 2022) of all the data in the IATI registry. Each transaction was split by recipient and sector classifications to visualise aggregates of poverty targeting and sectoral priorities.
The data tool features a selected group of key bilateral donors, international financial institutions and multilateral institutions reporting to IATI. DI has assessed whether the data provided by these donors for both disbursements and commitments is usable or not.
The full list of donors included in this analysis are in Table A1.
This tracker is by necessity limited to the data that is published to a sufficient standard and in a timely fashion, and is not therefore a comprehensive picture of all donors. Despite this, IATI data has reached a sufficient level of quality and coverage to enable critical analysis of near real-time trends. Data such as that provided in our tracker provides a vital early warning system on current aid spending as donors seek to better respond to the challenges caused by Covid-19.
Some notable exclusions are:
- The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (who do not provide commitment data for all activities)
- Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (who report total disbursement data for each activity on the latest transaction date)
- France's Agence Française de Développement (who report data on activities cumulatively).
In addition, due to data issues, UNICEF data has only been updated as of 27 October 2021.
Table A1: Key bilateral donors, IFIs and multilateral institutions used in the analysis of IATI disbursements and commitments
|Belgium – Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD)||Yes||Yes|
|Canada – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD)||Yes||Yes|
|Denmark – Ministry of Foreign Affairs||Yes||Yes|
|European Commission (EC) – Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid||Yes||Yes|
|EC – Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)||Yes||Yes|
|EC – Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI)||Yes||Yes|
|EC – European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)||Yes||Yes|
|EC – European Investment Bank (EIB)||No||Yes|
|Finland – Ministry for Foreign Affairs||Yes||No|
|Germany – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)||No||Yes|
|Germany – Federal Foreign Office||Yes||Yes|
|Netherlands – Enterprise Agency (RvO)||Yes||Yes|
|Netherlands – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS)||Yes||Yes|
|New Zealand – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade||Yes||Yes|
|Norway – Norway Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)||Yes||Yes|
|Spain – Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)||Yes||Yes|
|Sweden – Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)||Yes||Yes|
|Switzerland – Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)||Yes||Yes|
|UK – British Council||Yes||Yes|
|UK – Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)||Yes||Yes|
|UK – Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)||Yes||No|
|UK – Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)||Yes||No|
|US – The Federal Government of the United States||No||Yes|
|US – US Agency for International Development (USAID)||Yes||Yes|
|International financial institutions (IFIs)|
|African Development Bank Group (AfDB)||Yes||Yes|
|Asian Development Bank (ADB)||Yes||Yes|
|European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)||Yes||Yes|
|International Finance Corporation (IFC)||No||Yes|
|Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)||Yes||Yes|
|Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF)||Yes||Yes|
|International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)||Yes||No|
|International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)||Yes||No|
|United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)||Yes||No|
|UN Population Fund (UNFPA)||No||Yes|
|United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef)||Yes||Yes|
|United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)||Yes||No|
|United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)||Yes||Yes|
|UNOCHA – Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||Yes||No|
|United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)||Yes||No|
|World Food Programme (WFP)||Yes||Yes|
Source: Development Initiatives based on IATI.
Notes: IFI = international financial institution; IATI = International Aid Transparency Initiative.
Commitments are amounts the donor is contracted to disburse. Disbursements are actual spend by donor in fulfilment of a contract.Return to source text
This can be due, for example, to adjustments between operations and accounting departments, journal entries to deal with accrual accounting or cumulative reporting over a quarter.Return to source text
Using near real-time data on aid flows: Lessons learnt
Bill Anderson shares lessons learnt from DI’s recent experience using near real-time data to examine donor response to the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting an urgent need for timely, disaggregated data.
Aid data 2019–2020: Analysis of trends before and during Covid
What key shifts in donors, sectors, targeting and loans during the Covid pandemic are highlighted by new DAC data on 2019 ODA and 2020 aid figures from IATI?
How is aid changing in the Covid-19 pandemic?
This briefing sets out near real-time data on aid for the first half of 2020. It shows how commitments are changing in the Covid-19 pandemic and where these are most likely to affect the poorest people and places.