Austria

Introduction

The Federal Act on Development Co-operation (2003) defines Austria’s three main objectives as poverty eradication, ensuring peace and human security, and preserving the environment. The Three-year Programme for Austrian Development Co-operation for the period 2019-21 reflects these objectives; prioritising meeting basic needs to eradicate poverty, sustainable economic development, protecting and preserving the environment; peace and security; building inclusive societies; and promoting women.

The three-year programme also defines 11 priority countries, each falling into one of three categories: 1) South East Europe and the southern Caucuses; 2) fragile and crisis-affected states; and 3) least developed countries (LDCs). The new programme presents two overall focus areas for Austrian development co-operation: gender equality and women’s empowerment and migration.

The 2019 DAC Peer Review of Austria’s development co-operation is underway.

Official development assistance

Austria is the 17th largest DAC donor in both volume and as a share of gross national income (GNI). In 2017, only 13% of gross bilateral official development assistance (ODA) was programmed with partner countries and a low share of bilateral ODA (10.9%) was channelled to the LDCs, compared to the DAC country average of 23.5%. Turkey is the largest recipient of Austria’s bilateral ODA followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina. Almost half of Austrian bilateral ODA (42.7%) went to social infrastructure and services.

In 2018, Austria provided USD 1.18 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 0.26% of GNI. Under the “cash-flow basis” methodology used in the past, 2018 net ODA was USD 1.12 billion, which represented a fall of 11.7% in real terms from 2017, partly due to a lower volume of in-donor refugee costs.

In 2017, in-donor refugee costs were USD 153 million, a decrease of 75% in real terms over 2016, and represented 12.2% of Austria’s total net ODA.

Austria’s share of untied bilateral ODA (excluding administrative costs and in-donor refugee costs) was 50.1% in 2017 (slightly down from 51.8% in 2016), while the DAC country average was 82.1%. The grant element of total ODA was 100% in 2017. Non-grants represented 1.1% of gross ODA.

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In 2017, 48% of gross ODA was provided bilaterally, of which 18% was channelled through multilateral organisations (multi-bi/non-core contributions). Austria allocated 52% 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 13% of Austria’s bilateral ODA, compared to the DAC country average of 48% (see the methodological notes for further details on country programmable aid). Project-type interventions accounted for 60% of this aid.

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In 2017, Austria channelled 39.8% of gross bilateral ODA through the public sector (down from 69.2% in 2016). The share of bilateral ODA channelled through private sector institutions was 4.3%. In 2017, Austria channelled USD 131 million through universities or other teaching and research institutions, equal to 21.6% of its gross bilateral ODA. See the methodological notes for further details on channels of delivery.

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In 2017, USD 94 million of gross bilateral ODA was channelled to and through civil society organisations (CSOs). Between 2016 and 2017, ODA channelled to and through CSOs increased as a share of bilateral aid (from 7% to 15%). Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs and the Civil Society Days.

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In 2017, Austria’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Europe and Asia, as well as sub-Saharan Africa. USD 145.6 million was allocated to Europe, USD 45.6 million to South and Central Asia, and USD 42.5 million to the Middle East. USD 73.2 million was allocated to sub-Saharan Africa. Bilateral allocations to sub-Saharan Africa increased in 2017 in line with government policy.

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In 2017, 26.9% of gross bilateral ODA went to Austria’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are largely in Europe, given Austria’s focus on its immediate neighbourhood, in particular South East Europe and the Southern Caucuses, as well as the Middle East. Three of Austria’s priority partner countries (Albania, Ethiopia and Uganda) are among the top 10 recipients of bilateral ODA. Support to fragile contexts reached USD 118 million in 2017 (19.6 % of gross bilateral ODA).Learn more about support to fragile contexts.

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In 2017, 10.9% of Austria’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 66 million) was allocated to the LDCs, an increase from 4.6% in 2016. The DAC country average for 2017 was 23.5%. Upper middle-income countries received the highest share of bilateral ODA in 2017 (24.2%), noting that 46.3% of bilateral ODA was unallocated by income group.

At 0.07% 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, 42.7% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 272.7 million) was allocated to social infrastructure and services, with a focus on education (USD 163.9 million), and lower levels of support to government and civil society (USD 36.5 million) and health (USD 19.8 million). Humanitarian aid amounted to USD 54.8 million. In 2017, Austria committed USD 0.196 million of ODA to support developing countries to raise domestic revenue, amounting to 0.06% of bilateral allocable aid. Austria also committed USD 78 million (24.7% 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 116 million of gross bilateral allocable ODA supported gender equality. In 2017, 40% of Austria’s bilateral sector-allocable aid had gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal or significant objective, which is a decrease from 45% in 2016. The DAC country average was 36%. Austria’s aid to population and reproductive health and other social infrastructure and services focuses on gender. Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality.

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USD 110 million of bilateral ODA commitments supported the environment. In 2017, 35% of Austria’s gross bilateral allocable aid supported the environment and 24% (USD 74 million) focused on climate change. The DAC country averages were 33% and 25%. Allocations supporting the environment increased from 27% in 2016 while the focus on climate change increased from 18% in 2016. The proportion of bilateral allocable ODA focusing specifically on adaptation increased from 8% in 2016 to 11% in 2017, and the proportion focusing specifically on mitigation increased from 15% to 18%. 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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In 2017, the Austrian development finance institution (OeEB) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) mobilised USD 58.9 million from the private sector through syndicated loans, shares in collective investment vehicles (CIVs), direct investment in companies and project finance special purpose vehicles (SPVs), as well as simple co-financing arrangements with the private sector.

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Of the country-allocable private finance mobilised in 2012-17, 77% targeted middle-income countries and 23% the LDCs.

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Austria’s private finance mobilised in 2012-17 mainly related to activities in the energy (24%); industry, mining and construction (17%); and agriculture, forestry and fishing (13%) sectors. Nineteen per cent of the private finance mobilised was unallocated by sector. Learn more about the amounts mobilised from private sector for development.

Institutional set-up

The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (FMEIA) sets the overall policy of Austrian development co-operation. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA), which was established in 2004, is the primary implementing agency for Austria’s bilateral programmes. The joint efforts of the FMEIA and ADA are referred to as Austrian Development Co-operation (ADC). A number of other actors within the Austrian government at the federal, state and municipal level, contribute to the ODA budget and are involved in the delivery of Austrian aid. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for most multilateral financing and in 2017 disbursed USD 687 million of Austrian ODA, amounting to 54.7% of total ODA, up from 41.4% in 2016. ADA is responsible for disbursing approximately 9% of ODA.

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Evaluation system

The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (FMEIA) and ADA share responsibility for evaluating Austrian development co-operation. ADA has a separate Unit for Evaluation and Statistics located under the managing director. Independence is the key guiding principle and cornerstone of the new evaluation policy that is being developed, which establishes a common framework to govern the evaluation function and practice across Austria’s development co-operation system and which will apply to both organisations, as well as to the Federal Ministry for Finance, the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, and the Austrian Development Bank.

The FMEIA’s and ADA’s Evaluation Units prepare joint two-year plans for strategic evaluations which are approved by management in both institutions and published on line. The current ADC Evaluation Plan 2019-2020 sets out strategic evaluation priorities and forecasts potential topics for evaluation beyond 2020. Learn more about evaluation in Austria.

Visit the DAC Evaluation Resource Centre website for evaluations of Austrian 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

2017 DAC Mid-Term Review of Austria: https://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/Mid-Term-Review-Austria-2017.pdf

2015 DAC Peer Review of Austria: http://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/peer-review-austria.htm

Austrian Development Agency (ADA): https://www.entwicklung.at/en

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 1965.

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