ODA, DAC and the 0.7% standard

ODA, Official Development Assistance

In order to compare the assistance efforts of the various donors and monitor the fulfilment of pledges made, the concept of ODA, Official Development Assistance, was developed, whereby it is possible to discuss on an international basis what may and may not be categorised as “aid”. This standard has since been adopted internationally; its definition is managed by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD.

Official development assistance covers all flows to developing countries and to multilateral organisations that satisfy the following two conditions:

  • The donor is an official body, such as a local or federal government and its executive government agencies.
  • The primary aim of the transaction is to further economic development and wellbeing in the developing countries, and is concessionary in nature. In the case of loans, this means that at least 25% of the sum must be a donation.

Donations and loans for military ends are excluded.

For more information, see the “Is it ODA?” brochure, or go to www.oecd.org/dac/stats/methodology.

Developing countries are defined for these purposes as all countries or groups of countries that appear on the official list of the DAC. This list can be viewed at www.oecd.org/dac/stats/daclist.

There is also an official list of the multilateral organisations taken into consideration. See “Annex 2” at www.oecd.org/dac/stats/dacdirectives.

Contributions to the general resources of these organisations (“core contributions”) can wholly or in part be considered as official development assistance.


The 0.7% standard

As early as the 1970s, it was internationally accepted that the official development assistance of wealthy countries should consist of at least 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI). Belgium, too, has set itself the legal requirement of meeting this standard as of 2010. This goal, however, is not yet immediately attainable due to the financial crisis and the difficult budgetary circumstances. Our ODA/GNI ratio will continue to fluctuate around 0.51% until 2014 at least. However, it should be noted that this percentage means that we are already complying with European commitments and are still among the leading DAC donors.

Within the FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the D4.3 - Quality and Results department is responsible for the statistical monitoring of official development assistance and for the growth towards 0.7% of GNI. For additional statistics, or for information about the OECD’s DAC figures and ODA accountability, you can contact them directly, more specifically at antoon.vanbroeckhoven@diplobel.fed.be or olivier.thery@diplobel.fed.be.


Belgian ODA