Rethinking Official Development Assistance Financing: Is There a Role for Philanthropy?

Rethinking Official Development Assistance Financing: Is There a Role for Philanthropy?

Southern Voice’s network member John Asafu-Adjaye of Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana writes about reimagining ODA along the lines of philanthropy. The blog is part of the “SDG Solutions” series hosted by the UN FoundationGlobal Daily, and +SocialGood to raise awareness of ways the international community can advance, and is advancing, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. 

 An ambitious plan as the Sustainable Development Goals, requires new ways to achieve it. Private philanthropy should be given prominent attention in a new model to finance the Agenda 2030. The traditional funding model has been for the donor countries to channel the funds to the recipient countries directly through bilateral aid agreements or indirectly through multilateral agencies. For many countries these resources are still crucial sources to finance many social programs.  But these financial flows are volatile due to political and economic reasons. For example, the Syrian refugee crisis has changed the countries’ priorities. Current OECD data suggest that countries such as Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands now invest more foreign aid within their own borders than in any single developing nation. Furthermore, there is a new administration in the US, which has already proposed deep cuts to foreign aid. Despite a commitment to maintain Official Development Assistance, it is foreseeable that these flows to developing countries will continue to decline in the future.

There is little doubt that despite some concerns – such as inefficient disbursement, graft and corruption – ODA has played a significant role in achieving the outcomes we see in the developing world today. The recent developments concerning ODA therefore come at an inopportune time because many developing countries rely on it to keep on track with their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…Read more


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