Spain

Introduction

The most recent Master Plan for Spanish Co-operation covering the period 2018-2021 outlines development co-operation priorities, all linked to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 2016 DAC Peer Review commended Spain for its strong focus on reducing poverty and inequality and recognised Spain’s efforts to forge close working relationships with partner country governments, especially in Latin America. The next DAC Peer Review of Spain’s development co-operation will start in 2020.

Official development assistance

Spain was the 13th largest DAC donor in 2018, contributing 0.20% of gross national income (GNI). While 17.2% of bilateral official development assistance (ODA) was allocated to sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, the largest recipient of Spanish bilateral ODA was Côte d’Ivoire, which received USD 120 million. The bulk of bilateral ODA goes, however, to the Americas, in particular to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In 2017, the share of bilateral ODA channelled through the public sector fell significantly, from 81.8% in 2016 to 31.3%. ODA channelled to and through civil society organisations (CSOs) meanwhile increased, reaching 46% in 2017.

In 2018, Spain provided USD 2.87 billion in total ODA (preliminary data, current prices), using the new “grant-equivalent” methodology (see the methodological notes for further details) adopted by DAC members on their reporting of 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. This represented 0.20% of GNI. Under the “cash-flow basis” methodology used in the past, 2018 net ODA was USD 2.58 billion, which represented a fall of 4.6% in real terms from 2017, due to significantly lower levels of debt relief compared to 2017.

In 2017, in-donor refugee costs were USD 217 million, an increase of 137% in real terms over 2016, and represented 8.5% of Spain’s total net ODA (compared to 2.1% in 2016).

Spain’s share of untied bilateral ODA (excluding administrative costs and in-donor refugee costs) was 83.5% in 2017 (up from 81.7% in 2016), while the DAC country average was 82.1%. The grant element of total ODA was 99.1% in 2017. Non-grants represented 3.7% of gross ODA.

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In 2017, 37% of gross ODA was provided bilaterally, of which 14% was channelled through multilateral organisations (multi-bi/non-core contributions). Spain allocated 63% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations. Learn more about multilateral development finance.

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In 2017, country programmable aid was 25% of Spain’s bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 48% (see the methodological notes for further details on country programmable aid). Project-type interventions accounted for 45% of this aid.

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In 2017, Spain channelled 31.3% of gross bilateral ODA through the public sector (down from 81.8% in 2016). The share of bilateral ODA channelled through private sector institutions was 2.5%. In 2017, Spain channelled USD 18 million through universities or other teaching and research institutions, equal to 1.7% of its gross bilateral ODA. See the methodological notes for further details on channels of delivery.

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In 2017, USD 498 million of bilateral ODA was channelled to and through CSOs. Between 2016 and 2017, ODA channelled to and through CSOs increased as a share of bilateral aid (from 11% to 46%). Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs and the Civil Society Days.

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In 2017, bilateral ODA was primarily focused on South America and North and Central America. USD 247 million was allocated to sub-Saharan Africa, USD 110 million to the Middle East, and USD 14.5 million to South and Central Asia. USD 115 million was provided to Europe.

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In 2017, 42.9% of gross bilateral ODA went to Spain’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients were Côte d’Ivoire, Turkey, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Colombia, Morocco, El Salvador, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Ukraine and Honduras. Support to fragile contexts reached USD 419 million in 2017 (38.6% of gross bilateral ODA). Learn more about support to fragile contexts.

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In 2017, 11.2% of Spain’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 122 million) was allocated to the least developed countries (LDCs), compared to the DAC country average of 23.5%. This is up from 2.9% in 2016. Lower middle-income countries received the highest share of bilateral ODA in 2017 (37.1%), noting that 28.3% was unallocated by income group.

At 0.04% of GNI in 2017, total ODA to the LDCs (including imputed multilateral flows) was lower than the UN target of 0.15-0.20% of GNI.

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In 2017, 23.7% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 263 million) was allocated to social infrastructure and services, with a focus on support to government and civil society (USD 120 million), education (USD 46.7 million), and health (USD 46.2 million). Humanitarian aid amounted to USD 58 million. In 2017, Spain committed USD 105 thousand of ODA to support developing countries to raise domestic revenue, amounting to 0.02% of bilateral allocable aid. Spain also committed USD 105 million (16% of bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2017.

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USD 319 million of gross bilateral allocable ODA supported gender equality. In 2017, 49% of Spain’s bilateral sector-allocable aid had gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal or significant objective (up from 41% in 2016), compared with the DAC country average of 36%. Spain’s aid to population and reproductive health focuses on gender. Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality.

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USD 191 million of bilateral ODA commitments supported the environment. In 2017, 29% of Spain’s gross bilateral allocable aid supported the environment and 13% (USD 87 million) focused on climate change, compared with the respective DAC country averages of 33% and 25%. Allocations supporting the environment increased from 27% in 2016, while those focused on climate change remained stable at 13% in 2016. The proportion of bilateral allocable ODA focusing specifically on adaptation increased slightly, from 12% in 2016 to 13% in 2017, and the proportion focusing specifically on mitigation increased from 3% to 7%. Learn more about climate-related development finance.

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Other financial flows and amounts mobilised from the private sector

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During 2012-17, the Spanish fund FONPRODE mobilised USD 55.1 million from the private sector through shares in collective investment vehicles (CIVs).

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Spain’s private finance mobilised in 2012-17 related to activities in the banking and financial services (51%); agriculture, forestry and fishing (48%); and energy (2%) sectors.

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Institutional set-up

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is the main body responsible for implementing Spanish development co-operation. AECID works in more than 30 countries through a network of technical co-operation offices, cultural centres and training centres. AECID reports to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Co-operation through the State Secretariat for International Development Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean.

In 2017, 24.5% of ODA was disbursed through the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, 41.9% through the Ministry of Public Administration, and 33.6% through other ministries.

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Evaluation system

Royal Decree 1271/2018 provides a clear mandate for evaluation to the Division of Development Policy Evaluation and Knowledge Management (DEGCO), which sits in the Directorate-General for Sustainable Development Policies (DGPOLDES). DEGCO manages centralised strategic evaluations, which cover policy or strategic evaluations. Independence from policy and programming is assured through direct reporting lines to the head of the General Secretariat for International Development Co-operation. Project and programme evaluations are conducted and commissioned by AECID country offices and operational units in the headquarters. In addition, regional and local administrations and public universities carry out evaluations of all interventions funded by ODA that are managed at their level. Learn more about evaluation in Spain.

Read Spain’s biennial evaluation plan and Spain’s annual evaluation reports.

Visit the DAC Evaluation Resource Centre website for evaluations of Spanish development co-operation.

Performance against the commitments for effective development co-operation

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Explore the Monitoring Dashboard of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.

Additional resources

2014 DAC Peer Review of Spain: http://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/peer-review-spain.htm

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Co-operation: www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/en/PoliticaExteriorCooperacion/CooperacionAlDesarrollo/Paginas/Inicio.aspx

Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID): www.aecid.es/EN/aecid

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 1991.

Spain