Aid

Official bilateral and multilateral aid to developing countries is known as Official Development Assistance (ODA) and is defined and measured by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD reported that in 2016 worldwide development aid stood at a record high of $142.6bn, which was a nine percent increase on the previous year. Despite the overall increase in aid however, the amount of bilateral (country to country) aid to the least developed countries in 2016 actually decreased. 

UN peacekeeping soldiers collect supplies from Tebnine hospital to deliver to people in Lebanon. Credit: Jenny Matthews / Panos

In the UK the Government committed to meeting the United Nations target of spending 0.7 percent of the country’s GNI on aid and passed a bill in 2015 that enshrined the target in law. However how this 0.7% is spent is important, particularly as it is disbursed across a greater number of Government Departments.  The focus of spending should remain poverty alleviation.  According to the OECD, other countries that met the UN’s 0.7 percent target in 2016 also included Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden.

Aid and its effectiveness is a hotly contested issue, particularly around how countries best use ODA to tackle the unprecedented and interconnected challenges that the world currently faces - poverty, inequalities, environmental degradation and climate change, mass migration, pandemic diseases, instability and conflict - and in building resilience to crisis.

IDS aims to provide research for evidence-based policy making for international aid and development, and contribute to innovation, practice and transparency regarding aid, working with global research partners.

 

Brazil and International Development Cooperation

Brazil is a founding member of the BRICS group, Latin America's largest economy and the world's sixth-largest economy. The Rising Powers in International Development (RPID) programme is looking at Brazil's growing role in the field of international development cooperation. More details

China and International Development Cooperation

China is now the African continent's biggest trading partner, and also involved in a wide range of development cooperation projects including in agriculture, health and social policy. The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of China in the field of international development cooperation. More details

Critical Research Social Justice and International Aid

Seminar series for inter-disciplinary discussions on the relationship between research, aid and social justice More details

Digital Development: IDS and DFAT InnovationXchange collaboration

This six month collaboration between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's InnovationXchange (iXc) and the Digital and Technology cluster will strengthen DFAT’s capability to appropriately use technology to more effectively deliver aid outcomes, building on its existing expertise and experience. More details

Ebola Response Anthropology Platform

Anthropologists from around the world providing advice on how to engage with crucial socio-cultural and political dimensions of the Ebola outbreak and build locally-appropriate interventions. More details

Ebola: Lessons for development

IDS researchers argue that there is an urgent need to look beyond the immediate, on-the-ground concerns of disease control and containment to consider the bigger and broader questions about international development. More details

GSDRC

GSDRC provide high quality, timely knowledge products to support international development planning, policymaking and other activities area. This includes a document library, a research helpdesk and email bulletins More details

HEART (Health and Education Advice and Resource Team)

HEART is a consortium of leading organisations in international development, health, nutrition, education, social protection and WASH. More details

India and International Development Cooperation

Trade and investment linkages between India and the African continent have been growing rapidly, and recently, its role providing foreign assistance has become more prominent. The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of India in the field of international development cooperation. More details

Public Perceptions of International Development in the UK

With the world economy in a major downturn, the stakes for developing countries could not be higher. Public support for international development and aid will play a key role. But is there a domestic consensus on the UK's role in international development and what are its contours? More details

Russia and International Development Cooperation

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was redefined as an aid recipient, but in 2007, it officially signalled its intention to reverse this role. The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of Russia in the field of international development cooperation More details

Strengthening the Capacity of the International Poverty Reduction Center in China for South-South Cooperation

This project, funded by the Chinese Government's Ministry Of Commerce, is aimed at addressing how IDA is given to developing countries (particularly Africa) and if there are ways of improving China's development assistance to create opportunities for independent development. More details

The New Bottom Billion

New IDS research shows that the global poverty 'problem' is changing. There is a new 'bottom billion' of 960m poor people or 72 per cent of the world's poor who live not in poor countries but in middle-income countries (MICs). More details

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Use this search to display this theme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


IDS Research Summary

Aid, Rents and the Politics of the Budget Process

IDS Research Summary of IDS Working Paper 311 (2009)

This Research Summary analyses the impact of political institutions and budgetary procedures on budget governance in aid and resource-dependent countries. More details

IDS Working Paper

Aid, Rents and the Politics of the Budget Process

IDS Working Paper 311 (2008)

This paper analyses the impact of political institutions and budgetary procedures on budget governance in aid- and resource-dependent countries. More details

Front cover of the Bulletin 39.1, Impact Evaluation: The Experiences of Official Agencies

Impact Evaluation: The Experiences of Official Agencies

IDS Bulletin 39.1 (2008)

Aid effectiveness has long been disputed, after decades of inconclusive macroeconomic analysis. Now there is a growing body of evidence from detailed, field level, microeconomic impact evaluations. The articles in this IDS Bulletin show how the design of these studies increasingly address the various sources of bias for which previous projects were criticised. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Is European Aid Focused on the Poorest Countries?

Perspectives in Poverty Alleviation (2008)
IDS publications on international development research

Aid, Growth, and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper WPS4480 (2008)
Non-IDS publication

Gender Equality and Aid Effectiveness - Challenges and Opportunities for International Practice: Experiences from South East Asia

This paper is a report of a Workshop on Aid Effectiveness and Gender Equality in South East Asia, Bangkok, April 2007. It presents lessons from case studies in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Timor Leste. More details

Front cover of Bulletin 38.2, Reinventing Development Research

Reinventing Development Research

IDS Bulletin 38.2 (2007)

Does development research need reinventing? If it does, why now and in what ways? These are the questions addressed by the papers in this issue of the IDS Bulletin, many of which were presented at IDS Fortieth Anniversary Conference in late 2006. They were also asked by the 46 Roundtables held throughout the world in 2006, organised by IDS partners and alumni, which preceded and helped frame the Conference agenda. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Aid that Works: Successful Development in Fragile States

This study investigates the attributes and effectiveness of donor-supported programmes and projects that worked well under difficult conditions in fragile states. Presented in this study are nine development initiatives in six less developed countries - Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste and Uganda. More details

Front cover of Bulletin 37.4, Challenging orthodoxies, Influencing Debates

Challenging Orthodoxies, Influencing Debates

IDS Bulletin 37.4 (2006)

What makes a classic IDS Bulletin article? Wandering through almost 40 years and 140 issues of the IDS Bulletin, some common features can be discerned. The most memorable IDS Bulletin articles challenge orthodoxy and present alternative perspectives on development issues. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Relationships for Aid

This book, authored by an internationally renowned group of aid practitioners reveals the contradictions and challenges. International development organisations combine the unbridled play of power and arrogant amnesia with serious and innovative efforts to create a more democratic world, to support transformative learning and to strengthen accountability. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Aid Distribution and the MDGs

World Development 34.6 (2006)