OECD Edition: Multilateral Development Finance, November 2018

The OECD’s edition “Multilateral Development Finance – Towards a New Pact on Multilateralism to Achieve the 2030 Agenda Together”, published in November 2018, contributes to the broader international debate on why we need multilateralism and how to make it more effective in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda. At a time when the value of multilateralism is being questioned, the report provides new evidence and recommendations for a new “pact” on multilateralism.

The 2030 Agenda recognises that the most pressing development challenges the world faces are complex and cross-border, requiring integrated, multi-stakeholder approaches. Official development assistance (ODA) continues to play a vital role in supporting its achievement and most countries have yet to meet internationally agreed targets on ODA.

The report offers a detailed overview of official development assistance (ODA) spending through the multilateral system, introducing three innovations:
– First, it examines the growing role of China, other non-DAC sovereign states (Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye and the United Arab Emirates), philanthropy and the private sector as funders of multilateral organisations.
– Second, it analyses concessional and non-concessional spending by multilateral institutions, and discusses how multilateral action needs to adapt to the new development agenda.
– Third, it presents a new multi-dimensional metrics to measure the quality of multilateral funding, using financing to the World Health Organisation as a case study.

Building on this evidence, the report outlines policy recommendations that provide a sound basis for principles of good multilateral donorship to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

According to the report, for small EU members, the multilateral system represents the main channel for delivering development co-operation, with the vast majority of their multilateral funding directing to the EU. In that framework, Greece, in 2016, allocated 57% of its total ODA to multilateral organizations. Furthermore 92% of the multilateral ODA was directed to the EU, having the most “highly polarised” multilateral portfolio, among all DAC members.

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