Development Co-operation Report 2023

Debating the Aid System

image of Development Co-operation Report 2023

In the last three years, multiple global crises and the growing urgency of containing climate change have put current models of development co-operation to, perhaps, their most radical test in decades. The goal of a better world for all seems harder to reach, with new budgetary pressures, demands to provide regional and global public goods, elevated humanitarian needs, and increasingly complex political settings. Critique of the roots, rationale and operations of the international aid system is resulting in calls for fundamental change, manifesting, for example, in the movements to address colonial legacies and racism in the sector. This 60th anniversary edition of the Development Co-operation Report takes stock of these challenges, and proposes ways forward along four lines of action: unlock progress to deliver existing commitments; support locally led transformation in partner countries; modernise business models and financial management practices; and rebalance power relations in international decision making and partnerships. The report draws on insights from heads of state, leaders of international organisations, practitioners, academia and civil society, with particular emphasis on voices representing the diverse experiences and perspectives of low- and middle-income countries and their populations.

English Also available in: French

In focus: Transitioning out of aid dependency in health

Development assistance for health has contributed to impressive health gains over the years but has also perpetuated fragile health systems and dysfunctional institutions in developing countries. The architecture and incentives of development assistance for health have led many countries to underfund basic health services in their own budgets and become overly aid‑dependent. Aid dependency can diminish country ownership over health policy priorities and service delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the perils of overdependence on external sources of finance and distant suppliers for critical health needs. Shifting aid to financing regional and global public goods rather than basic health budgets would generate greater added value, increase the accountability and ownership of health expenditures, and rebalance the power relationship between the Global South and Global North for the benefit of all.

English Also available in: French

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