Image by UNAMID/Albert González Farran
  • Factsheet
  • 21 February 2019

Six ways to refocus ODA to end poverty and meet the SDGs

This factsheet looks at the trends in aid allocation that need reversing in order to meet the SDGs and reduce the widening gap between the poorest people and the rest.


Amy Dodd, Daniel Coppard , Rob Tew

2019 is a critical year to accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the world meets for the first SDG summit later in the year and we approach five years since the goals were introduced. Progress to date has fallen short of what is required to ensure that no one is left behind, but there is time to change our trajectory and get back on track if all stakeholders act now.

This factsheet builds on analysis from Development Initiatives’ Investments to End Poverty 2018 report, looking at the time period 2010–2017 unless otherwise specified. It highlights six worrying trends in aid allocation that need to be reversed if the SDGs are to be met and the widening gap between the poorest people and the rest reduced. Aid remains a critical and precious resource – but much more can be done to target the countries and sectors where it can most benefit those in need; to ensure that it is delivered in the form and channelled through the partners that can achieve the greatest impact; and to align it with the priorities of the SDGs.

OECD DAC members have a critical role to play in changing our trajectory. As donors, they provide some of the only additional, concessional, grant-based public money available to support development for the poorest people and countries. Addressing the six trends below is key to safeguarding this crucial role and delivering on the world’s commitment to Agenda 2030.