The End of ODA: Death and Rebirth of a Global Public Policy

The world of international development assistance is undergoing three concomitant revolutions, which concur to the emergence of a truly global policy. First, it is living through a diversification of the goals it is asked to pursue: to its traditional objective of ushering convergence between less and more developed economies have progressively been adjoined those of financing access to essential services and protecting global public goods. Secondly, faced with this new array of challenges, the world of development aid has demonstrated an impressive capacity to increase the number and diversity of its players, generating a governance conundrum for this eminently fragmented global policy. Thirdly, the instruments used by this expanding array of actors to achieve a broader range of policy objectives have themselves mushroomed, in the wake of innovations in mainstream financial markets. Yet surprisingly, this triple revolution in goals, actors and tools has not yet impacted the way we measure both the financial volumes dedicated to this emerging global policy nor the concrete impacts it aims to achieve. This paper argues for the need to move from the conventional measure of Official Development Assistance to the construction of clearer benchmarks for what ultimately matters: resources and results that concur to 21st century international development.Publication also on the web site of Center for Global Development

Ray, O. et J.M. Severino "The End of ODA: Death and Rebirth of a Global Public Policy" CGDEV, working paper 167, March 2009