Glossary of the terms used in this report

Multilateral organisations: This report covers the over 200 multilateral agencies and global funds – including the United Nations Development System (UNDS) and the World Bank Group – with governmental membership that carry out developmental activities, to which providers’ contributions are reportable either in whole or in part as official development assistance (ODA). DAC maintains the list of ODA-eligible organisations, which is publicly available:

Multilateral ODA/core contributions: These are official contributions to multilateral agencies, whether negotiated, assessed or voluntary. They are resources that the governing boards of multilateral organisations have the unqualified right to allocate as they see fit within the organisation’s charter.

Non-core/earmarked/multi-bi funding or contributions: These are resources to ODA-eligible multilateral agencies over which the donor retains some degree of control on decisions regarding disposal of the funds. Such flows may be earmarked for a specific country, project, region, sector or theme. They are bilateral resources channelled through a multilateral agency, and therefore technically qualify as part of bilateral ODA. These resources can be administered through trust funds, either as single or multi-donor trust funds.

Hard earmarking: These are resources strictly earmarked for a specific use, generally at the project level, leaving no, or limited, flexibility to the recipient organisation on their allocation.

Soft earmarking: Resources that are earmarked with a greater degree of flexibility. For instance, they may be earmarked for a specific sector or theme while still leaving it up to the recipient organisation to decide on the allocation among countries or among beneficiaries. These resources include both the thematic windows hosted by individual multilateral organisations and multi-donor trust funds hosted by pass-through mechanisms, such as the United Nations (UN) Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office.

Total use of the multilateral aid system or ODA funding to multilateral organisations: This term means all funds channelled to and through multilateral organisations, or the sum of core and non-core resources. It therefore encompasses multilateral ODA and a part of bilateral ODA (which is earmarked funding).

Multilateral outflows: The three above-mentioned flows (core, non-core, and the sum of the two) are all inflows into multilateral organisations. However, the OECD DAC statistical system also tracks flows from multilateral organisations to partner countries, or multilateral outflows.

Funding from multilateral organisations: These resources include both multilateral outflows, which originate from the core resources to multilateral organisations, and resources earmarked to multilateral organisations.

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