3 Responses

  1. Simon Scott
    Simon Scott October 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Robin and Michelle –

    Thanks a lot for your effort on this, and congratulations to the Centre on a remarkably accurate forecast for total aid in 2012!

    I wonder if you might be planning to do this exercise earlier in the year next time? If so we would be happy to reference your estimates in our annual press release on the preliminary ODA numbers, which as you say come out in April. Otherwise, we will bear your research in mind when considering projections.

    Your point that CPA estimates have not proven good guides to the following year’s ODA numbers is well taken. We may need to re-think how we present the CPA numbers in the press release, and check where the forecasts are going off-track. However, we still think CPA forward estimates should be of more use to developing country governments than ODA estimates. CPA focuses on resources over which developing countries have some control, leaving out debt relief and some in-donor costs. Our Forward Spending Survey provides a lot more detail about planned CPA numbers than we can put in the press release, including estimates of spending by multilateral agencies.

    Overall, I find your estimates for 2013 ODA very plausible, and can only admire your boldness in specifying your prediction to within a $1 billion range. Let’s see how it pans out, but a pause on the way down seems right, given that most donors will be trimming but the UK ODA will surge. By the way we saw a similar “dead cat bounce” in total DAC ODA after the last major global downturn in the early 90s, with aid falling sharply in 1993, but rising slightly in 1994 before dropping again for another three years.

    On the processes behind the fall, I would urge attention not only to recession but to its impact on revenue. For me the budget balance is the middle term between recession and aid cuts. It also explains the “amplification factor”: being discretionary spending, aid is prone to larger cuts than other items in fiscal consolidation exercises, as I mentioned in my talk at the Centre in July [http://devpolicy.org/in-brief/simon-scott-does-development-assistance-have-a-future/].

    All the best to your and your colleagues – you are doing a marvellous job of covering the development scene!

    Simon Scott, Head, Statistics and Development Finance Division, OECD

  2. Patrick Kilby
    Patrick Kilby October 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    …of course he reason for the sharp rise is two-fold, one is the security crisis of 2001-2005 (now diminished) and the second is the rise of BRIC donors (mainly China) through the 2000s to date. The question is do the DAC donors have the stomach for or care for an aid/influence fight with the non-DAC donors and aid recipients on the nature and direction of third world development, and do the voting public care.

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