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Development Co-operation Report 2017

Data for Development

image of Development Co-operation Report 2017

The 2017 volume of the  Development Co-operation Report focuses on Data for Development. “Big Data” and “the Internet of Things” are more than buzzwords: the data revolution is transforming the way that economies and societies are functioning across the planet. The Sustainable Development Goals along with the data revolution are opportunities that should not be missed: more and better data can help boost inclusive growth, fight inequalities and combat climate change. These data are also essential to measure and monitor progress against the Sustainable Development Goals.

The value of data in enabling development is uncontested. Yet, there continue to be worrying gaps in basic data about people and the planet and weak capacity in developing countries to produce the data that policy makers need to deliver reforms and policies that achieve real, visible and long-lasting development results. At the same time, investing in building statistical capacity – which represented about 0.30% of ODA in 2015 – is not a priority for most providers of development assistance.

There is a need for stronger political leadership, greater investment and more collective action to bridge the data divide for development. With the unfolding data revolution, developing countries and donors have a unique chance to act now to boost data production and use for the benefit of citizens. This report sets out priority actions and good practices that will help policy makers and providers of development assistance to bridge the global data divide, notably by strengthening statistical systems in developing countries to produce better data for better policies and better lives.

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Development finance and policy trends

This chapter highlights emerging trends in official development assistance (ODA) from members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and other providers of development assistance. It draws on DAC statistics, the findings and recommendations of DAC peer reviews conducted since 2015 and the results of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation’s 2016 progress report. According to preliminary data, in 2016 net ODA reached yet another peak, at USD 142.6 billion, or 0.32% of gross national income, driven in part by increased spending on in-donor refugee costs. Country programmable aid and flows to least developed countries and small island developing states are declining, while the percentage of humanitarian assistance and aid channelled through the multilateral system and civil society organisations has risen. DAC members are improving the quality of their development co-operation but most still have a long way to go to meet their international commitments.

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