Spain

Spain’s development policy highlights seven strategic goals: 1) zero hunger; 2) good health and well-being; 3) quality education; 4) gender equality; 5) clean water and sanitation; 6) decent work and economic growth; and 7) peace, justice and strong institutions. Spain provides the majority of its official development assistance (ODA) as core contributions to multilateral organisations, with the largest share going to European Union (EU) institutions. The Secretary of State for International Co-operation (SECI) is responsible for preparing, monitoring and evaluating Spain’s development policy. The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is the main implementing body.

The 2016 OECD-DAC peer review praised Spain for its strong focus on reducing poverty and inequality, which it backs up with a high share of bilateral funding targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment. It also recognised Spain’s efforts to forge close working relationships with partner country governments, especially in Latin America. The review recommended that Spain take steps to improve whole-of-government co-ordination and coherence, and better focus thematic and partnership priorities to align with its comparative advantage. The next peer review of Spain’s development co-operation is scheduled for 2020-21. Learn more about the 2016 OECD-DAC peer review of Spain.

The most recent Master Plan for Spanish Co-operation covering the period 2018-2021 outlines Spain’s development co-operation priorities, and links these to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It highlights four cross-cutting development principles: 1) human rights; 2) gender equality; 3) cultural diversity; and 4) environmental sustainability. Spain prioritises engagement with middle-income countries, seeks to promote international debate about the best ways to work with partner countries in transition, and is a strong advocate of triangular co-operation. Spain developed a new Humanitarian Strategy for 2019-26.

Spain provided more ODA in 2019 than in the previous year. Total ODA on a grant-equivalent basis stood at USD 2.9 billion (preliminary data), representing 0.21% of Spain’s gross national income (GNI) in 2019.1 The increase of 4.0% in real terms from 2018 was due to an increase in its bilateral aid, particularly to sub-Saharan Africa. Spain ranked 21st among DAC member countries in relation to its ODA/GNI ratio in 2019. The government has committed to achieve a 0.4% ODA/GNI ratio by 2020 and Spain is committed, at the European level, to collectively achieve a 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030. Under the cash flow methodology used in the past, net ODA was USD 2.7 billion in 2019. Within Spain’s gross ODA portfolio in 2019 (USD 2.9 billion), 97.1% was provided in the form of grants and 2.9% in the form of non-grants.2

Spain’s ODA allocations have declined over the past ten years, both in volume and as a share of GNI, but increased in 2019. Most bilateral ODA continues to go to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. See the methodological notes for details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!
Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

In 2018, the largest proportion of Spain’s ODA (64%) was provided as core contributions to multilateral organisations, including the EU institutions. Gross bilateral ODA was 36% of total ODA, of which 12% was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions).

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

In 2018, Spain decreased its total support (core and earmarked contributions) to multilateral organisations. It provided USD 2 billion of gross ODA to the multilateral system, a fall of 6.2% in real terms from 2017. Of this, USD 1.9 billion was core multilateral ODA and the remainder was earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project aid earmarked for a specific project or purpose (tight earmarking) accounted for 5% of Spain’s non-core contributions, while the remaining 95% was softly earmarked (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

In 2018, Spain’s total contribution to multilateral organisations was mainly allocated to the EU institutions, the World Bank Group and regional development banks. These contributions together accounted for more than 88% of Spain’s total support to the multilateral system. The United Nations (UN) system received 7%, mainly through core contributions. Out of a total gross volume of USD 134 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Spain’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were: the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (USD 16 million), the UN Department of Peace Operations (USD 16 million), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (USD 13 million).

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!
Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

Note: See the list of UN acronyms.

See the section on “Geographic and thematic focus of ODA” for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system. Learn more about multilateral development finance.

In 2018, Spain decreased its bilateral spending compared to the previous year. It provided USD 1 billion as gross bilateral ODA (including earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations), which represented a decrease of 8.9% in real terms from 2017.

In 2019, providers of development co-operation started voluntarily reporting to the OECD data on how ODA focuses on the SDGs for 2018 activities. In 2018, Spain focused most of its bilateral ODA on addressing the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for inequality, education and gender.

In 2018, country programmable aid was 27% of Spain’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 49%. In-donor refugee costs were USD 276 million in 2018, an increase of 20.2% in real terms over 2017, and represented 11% of Spain’s total net ODA.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

Note: NGO: non-governmental organisation.

In 2018, Spain channelled its bilateral ODA mainly through non-governmental organisations and the public sector.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

Note: NGO: non-governmental organisation; PPP: public-private partnership.

In 2018, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 595 million of gross bilateral ODA. Less than 1% was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 54% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by Spain (earmarked funding). Between 2017 and 2018, core and earmarked contributions to CSOs increased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 46% to 54%. Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs and civil society engagement in development co-operation.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

In 2018, Spain’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa. USD 406 million was allocated to Latin America and the Caribbean, and USD 215 million to Africa, accounting respectively for 37% and 20% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 127 million was allocated to Asia. Europe and America were the main regional recipients of Spain’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, in line with its policy priorities. Twenty-four per cent of gross bilateral ODA was unspecified by region in 2018.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!
Bilateral ODA by recipient country

In 2018, 36% of gross bilateral ODA went to Spain’s top 10 recipients. Five of its top 10 recipients are in Latin America, in line with Spain’s historical focus on the region and support for countries that are transitioning to upper-middle income status. Turkey was the third-highest recipient, linked to the EU Facility for refugees in Turkey. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 32%, mainly due to expenditure for in-donor refugees.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!
Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

In 2018, least developed countries (LDCs) received 13.2% of Spain’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 145 million), below the DAC country average of 23.8%. Spain allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (31%) to lower middle-income countries in 2018, noting that 31% was unallocated by income group. Within bilateral ODA that was unallocated, Spain estimates that 7% was directed to the LDCs. Spain allocated 2.5% of gross bilateral ODA to small island developing states in 2018, equal to USD 27 million.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

Note: LDC: least developed country; LIC: low-income country; LMIC: lower middle-income country; UMIC: upper middle-income country; MADCTs: more advanced developing countries and territories.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 347 million of gross bilateral ODA in 2018 (30.5% of gross bilateral ODA). Extremely fragile contexts received 30.2% of this amount. Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

Note: The chart represents only gross bilateral ODA that is allocated by country.

In 2018, most of Spain’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 36% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 438 million), with a focus on support to government and civil society (USD 194 million) and education (USD 71 million). Bilateral humanitarian aid amounted to USD 77 million (6% of bilateral ODA). Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused also on social infrastructure and services and humanitarian aid in 2018.

Spain committed USD 94.7 million (12.6% of bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2018.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!
Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

In 2018, Spain committed 62% of its bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment as either a principal or significant objective (up from 49% in 2017),3 compared with the DAC country average of 42%. This is equal to USD 466 million of bilateral ODA commitments in support of gender equality. Out of this, the share of bilateral allocable aid committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal objective was 32%, compared with the DAC country average of 4%. A significantly higher share of interventions on social infrastructure and services addresses gender equality than those on economic infrastructure. Spain screens virtually all activities against the gender marker (99.8% in 2018). Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

In 2018, Spain committed 41% of its bilateral allocable aid (USD 311 million) in support of the environment as either a principal or significant objective, up from 29% in 2017 (the DAC country average was 33%). Thirteen per cent focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC country average of 11%. Twenty-six per cent (USD 199 million) focused on climate change as either a principal or significant objective, up from 13% in 2017 (the DAC country average was 26%). Spain has a greater focus on adaptation (24% in 2018) than on mitigation (14%). Learn more about climate-related development finance.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

Data analysis for the OECD initiative Sustainable Oceans for All shows that Spain committed USD 5 million in support of the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean in 2018, amounting to 0.7% of bilateral allocable aid. Learn more about ODA focused on the ocean economy.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

In 2018, Spain’s Development Promotion Fund (FONPRODE) and development finance institution, COFIDES, together mobilised USD 434.8 million from the private sector through credit lines and direct investment in companies or project finance special purpose vehicles (SPVs).

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

Note: CIV: collective investment vehicle; SPV: special purpose vehicle.

Of the country-allocable finance mobilised from the private sector in 2017-18, 88% targeted middle-income countries and 12% the more advanced developing countries and territories (MADCTs).

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

Note: LDC: least developed country; LMIC: lower middle-income country; UMIC: upper middle-income country; MADCT: more advance developing countries and territories.

Spain’s private finance mobilised in 2017-18 mainly related to activities in the banking and financial services (58%); industry, mining and construction (26%); and transport and storage (13%) sectors. Learn more about the amounts mobilised from the private sector for development.

The State Secretary for International Development Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean is responsible for the drafting, monitoring and evaluation of foreign policy for Ibero-America, international development co-operation, and the co-ordination of cultural activities abroad. The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is the main body responsible for implementing Spanish development co-operation. AECID works through technical co-operation offices and cultural and training centres in over 30 countries, and reports to the State Secretary.

Share
Embed code for this view
Copy code
Code copied!

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 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. 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 Secretary of State for International Co-operation (SECI). 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.

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

2016 OECD-DAC peer review of Spain: www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/peer-review-spain.htm

Spanish platform for development co-operation including public and non-government actors: https://www.cooperacionespanola.es/en/secretary-general-development-cooperation (English version)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation: 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.

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including the grant-equivalent methodology, core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, country programmable aid, channels of delivery, bilateral ODA unspecified/unallocated, bilateral allocable aid, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

← 1. DAC members adopted the grant-equivalent methodology starting from their reporting of 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the provider’s effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 2. All 2019 statistics in this paragraph are expressed in current prices and, therefore, they may differ from values in the ODA volume chart, which uses constant prices. Non-grants include sovereign loans, multilateral loans, equity investment and loans to the private sector.

← 3. The use of the recommended minimum criteria for the marker by some members in recent years can result in lower levels of aid reported as being focused on gender equality.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

https://doi.org/10.1787/2dcf1367-en

© OECD 2020

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at http://www.oecd.org/termsandconditions.