The biennial Global Outlook on Financing for Sustainable Development presents new data, analysis and recommendations for members of the OECD and the international community to advance a more holistic approach to finance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as called for in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The Global Outlook is a unique publication that analyses the role of development finance in the broader mix of public, private, domestic and international sources of financing, building on expertise from tax, investment, environment and development communities across the OECD. This report was prepared by the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD), under the guidance of Director Jorge Moreira da Silva. It drew on the expertise from Greg Medcraft, Director of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs (DAF), Mario Pezzini, Director of the Development Centre (DEV), Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA) and their teams. It provides an examination of the quantity and quality of resources from different policy perspectives.

This second edition provides a major analytical contribution to international efforts to heighten understanding of the alignment and compatibility of all sources of financing to achieve the SDGs, particularly in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 and increasing pressures in financing for sustainable development.

The report provides OECD members and other development actors with evidence, analysis and examples of how all sources of financing can avoid the collapse of resources as a result of the COVID-19 crisis in the short-term and rebuild better over the long-term. It further explores how resources can be better targeted to where the needs are greatest, to fix leakages in transmission channels, to make better use of the leveraging power of each resource, and to increase the quality and impact of investments. The report further identifies areas where OECD members and other development actors can align domestic policy to improve the sustainability and resilience of financing for sustainable development at its source.

The DCD team was led by Haje Schütte, Head of the Financing for Sustainable Development Division, Olivier Cattaneo, Head of the Policy Analysis and Strategy Unit, and Rachel Morris, Policy Analyst. Lead authors are: Martin Kessler (Chapter 1), Konstantin Poensgen (Chapter 2), Rachel Morris (Chapter 3) and Sam Mealy (Chapter 4). Cameron Bartlett, Drew D’Alelio and Thomas Rieger provided valuable drafting and research support throughout the publication.

Chapter 1 assesses the macroeconomic context of financing for sustainable development in the COVID-19 era and the implications for the gap between SDG needs and available financing. Chapter 2 analyses trends in the financing sustainable development landscape before and after the outbreak of COVID-19, with a focus on assessing the magnitude of impacts on all sources of development finance. Chapter 3 carries out an assessment of SDG alignment of the different sources of financing along equality and sustainability dimensions, integrating data and evidence on new actors’ approaches to sustainability within the global financial system. Chapter 4 sets out two key building blocks for action to i. unleash the potential of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, i.e. to better leverage public financing to increase the quantity and quality of resources, and ii. promote an SDG alignment framework, i.e. policy options to improve market efficiency and integrity for transparency, accountability and the right incentives.

The Annex provides sustainable finance profiles of new actors including institutional investors, banks, asset managers, rating agencies, philanthropic organisations and stock markets with recommendations for shared public and private actions for alignment of financing in support of the SDGs.

Fundamental contributions were provided by a broader team of OECD specialists, in particular Ben Dickinson and Joseph Stead (CTPA), Barbara Bijelic, Maria Borga, Tihana Bule, Iris Mantovani, Catriona Marshall, Coralie Martin, Ana Novik, Robert Patalano Martin Wermelinger (DAF), Yasmin Ahmad, Catherine Anderson, Aussauma Bejaouri, Julia Benn, Thomas Böhler, Priscilla Boiardi, Faten Boukhchana, Matthew Bowie, Juan Casado, Cibele Cesca, Guillaume Delalande, Rebecca Engebretsen, Abdoulaye Fabregas, Paul Horrocks, Tomas Hos, Jieun Kim, Carolyn Neunuebel, Nadine Piefer-Söyler, Friederike Ruhmann, Cécile Sangaré, Jens Sedemund, Özlem Taskin (DCD), Federico Bonaglia, Jason Gagnon, Håvard Halland, Sebastien Markley, Arthur Minsat, Alexander Pick (DEV), Enes Sunel (ECO), Geraldine Ang, Alexander Dobrinevski, Catherine Gamper, Raphael Jachnik, Nicolina Lamhauge, Mireille Martini, Dirk Röttgers, Cecilia Tam, Robert Youngman (ENV), William Hynes (OSG). Stacey Bradbury, Sara Casadevall Bellés, Stephanie Coic, Erin Renner Cordell and Henri-Bernard Solignac-Lecomte supported the production process at the OECD. External editorial support was provided by Susan Sachs.

The report also benefitted from consultations and peer reviews of colleagues from various civil society and business organisations, and academia: Peter Uhlenbruch, Head of Investor Standards and Felix Nagrawala, Senior Research Analyst (ShareAction); Richard Hardyment, Research Director, World Benchmarking Alliance; Damien Barchiche, Director, Sustainable Development Governance programme and Maria-Alejandra Riano, Research Fellow, Sustainable Development Governance programme IDDRI; Prof. Daniel C. Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, Yale Law School; in addition to other colleagues at AFD, DFID, GIZ, USAID, members of the UN system and experts from the OECD-UNDP G7 Alignment Initiative.

Strategic guidance was provided by members of the Development Assistance Committee and the Investment Committee of the OECD.

The full report is published in English and French.

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