Poland

Poland’s development co-operation focuses on its Eastern partner countries and select partner countries in Africa and Asia. Relative to gross national income (GNI), Poland’s official development assistance (ODA) has remained largely stable over the past four years, after a substantial increase in 2016 due to higher contributions to the European Union (EU). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs steers Polish development co-operation, with significant amounts provided by the Ministry of Finance. The largest proportion of Poland’s ODA is provided as core contributions to the multilateral system, particularly to the EU institutions. Poland is starting efforts to use ODA to mobilise funding from the private sector.

The 2019 OECD-DAC mid-term review of Polish development co-operation praised Poland for having improved cross-government co-ordination on loans and scholarships, two important components of the country’s ODA. Poland has also made progress in making its civil society organisation (CSO) financing more flexible, increasing transparency and engaging with the private sector. The mid-term review highlighted that the introduction of three-year country strategies is an opportunity to enhance the dialogue with partner countries, establish a clear focus for Poland’s programme and promote managing for results. It also underlined that the share of tied aid remains high. Learn more about Poland’s 2019 OECD-DAC mid-term review.

In September 2018, Poland updated its 2016-2020 “Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme”, adding Lebanon and Uganda as priority countries. Its co-operation focuses, in particular, on eastern neighbours, with 4 out of 12 priority countries in this region. The programme’s thematic priorities are good governance, democracy and human rights, human capital, entrepreneurship and private sector, sustainable agriculture and rural development, and environmental protection. The OECD-DAC mid-term review praised Poland’s investment in strategic reflection to prepare its next multiannual development co-operation programme for 2021-30.

Poland provided less ODA in 2019 than in the previous year. Total ODA on a grant-equivalent basis stood at USD 684 million (preliminary data), representing 0.12% of Poland’s gross national income (GNI) in 2019.1 The fall of 7.7% in real terms from 2018 was due to a decrease in its bilateral ODA. Poland ranked 29th among DAC member countries in relation to its ODA/GNI ratio in 2019. The government has committed to achieve a 0.33% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030 and Poland 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 669 million in 2019. Within Poland’s gross ODA portfolio in 2019 (USD 695 million), 78.4% was provided in the form of grants and 21.6% in the form of non-grants.2

In 2018, Poland increased its allocations to least developed countries (LDCs) after a year of low allocations in 2017. Poland’s bilateral aid remains highly tied and the share of interventions targeting gender equality is very low. See the methodological notes for details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied.

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In 2018, the largest proportion of Poland’s ODA (66%) was provided as core contributions to multilateral organisations, including the EU institutions. Gross bilateral ODA was 34% of total ODA, of which 9% was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions).

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In 2018, Poland decreased its total support (core and earmarked contributions) to multilateral organisations. It provided USD 546 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, a fall of 7.7% in real terms from 2017. Of this, USD 521 million was core multilateral ODA and the rest was earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project aid earmarked for a specific project or purpose (tight earmarking) accounted for 9% of Poland’s non-core contributions, while the remaining 91% was softly earmarked (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

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In 2018, Poland’s total contribution to multilateral organisations was mainly allocated to the EU institutions, the United Nations (UN) and regional development banks. These contributions together accounted for more than 98% of Poland’s total support to the multilateral system. The UN system received 6%, mainly through earmarked contributions. Out of a total gross volume of USD 30 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Poland’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were: the World Health Organization (USD 5 million), the UN Secretariat (USD 4 million) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (USD 3 million).

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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, Poland’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 265 million of gross bilateral ODA (including earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations), which represented an increase of 1.4% 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 Sustainable Development Goals for 2018 activities. In 2018, Poland focused the largest share of its bilateral ODA on addressing the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for education and life on land.

In 2018, country programmable aid was 50% of Poland’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 49%.

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Note: NGO: non-governmental organisation.

In 2018, Poland channelled its bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector.

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

In 2018, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 27 million of gross bilateral ODA. Of Poland’s gross bilateral ODA, 0.3% was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 10% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by Poland (earmarked funding). Between 2017 and 2018, core and earmarked contributions to CSOs remained stable at 10% of bilateral ODA. Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs and civil society engagement in development co-operation.

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In 2018, Poland’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Europe and Asia. USD 121 million was allocated to ODA-eligible countries in Europe and USD 90 million to Asia, accounting respectively for 46% and 34% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 41 million was allocated to Africa. Europe was the main region receiving Poland’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations. Five per cent of gross bilateral ODA was unspecified by region in 2018.

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Bilateral ODA by recipient country

In 2018, 86% of gross bilateral ODA went to Poland’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are distributed across Europe, Asia and Africa, and include many of Poland’s priority countries. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 5%.

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In 2018, the LDCs received 34.1% of Poland’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 90 million). This is above the DAC country average of 23.8%. Poland allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (37.1%) to lower middle-income countries in 2018, noting that 5% was unallocated by income group.

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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 108 million of gross bilateral ODA in 2018 (40.9% of gross bilateral ODA). Extremely fragile contexts received 8.2% of this amount. Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

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

In 2018, most of Poland’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Commitments in this area accounted for 67% of bilateral ODA (USD 178 million), with a focus on support to education (USD 93 million) and government and civil society (USD 78 million). Among production sectors, ODA for agriculture totalled USD 35 million. Bilateral humanitarian aid amounted to USD 36 million (14% of bilateral ODA). Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused primarily on humanitarian aid in 2018.

Poland committed USD 38.3 million (22.3% of bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2018.

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In 2018, Poland committed 2% of its bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment as either a principal or significant objective (also 2% in 2017),3 compared with the DAC country average of 42%. This is equal to USD 3 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 0.4%, compared with the DAC country average of 4%. Only interventions on population and health address gender equality. Poland screens all activities against the gender marker (100% in 2018). Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality.

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In 2018, Poland committed 38% of its bilateral allocable aid (USD 64 million) in support of the environment as either a principal or significant objective, up from 36% in 2017 (the DAC country average was 33%). One per cent focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC country average of 11%. Thirty-seven per cent (USD 63 million) focused on climate change as either a principal or significant objective, up from 1.3% in 2017 (the DAC country average was 26%). Poland has a greater focus on adaptation (37% in 2018) than on mitigation (0.5%). Learn more about climate-related development finance.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-ordinates development co-operation policy under the brand “Polish Aid”. It managed 22.0% of Polish ODA in 2018 and is also responsible for EU co-operation. The Ministry of Finance provided 61.6% of ODA in 2018. In addition to contributions to the EU budget, it provides concessional lending. Since 2019, the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Entrepreneurship co-ordinate their views on proposed loans in an advisory group. As regards scholarships, a new agency now co-ordinates programmes financed by different ministries, including the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Poland is considering establishing an implementing agency and is exchanging with other DAC members on their experiences.

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Poland’s Development Cooperation Act (2011) mandates the Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs to evaluate the effective implementation of the goals set out in the development co-operation programme. The Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme 2016-2020 provides a clear definition of evaluation and roles of evaluation, based on international core standards and principles, including the DAC Criteria for Evaluating Development Assistance.

On behalf of the minister, the Development Cooperation Department (DCD) evaluates Polish development co-operation. An independent evaluation post sits within the department, reporting directly to the director who reports to the Undersecretary of State for Development Cooperation (MFA) and to the Development Cooperation Policy Council. DCD draws up an annual or two-year evaluation plan, which is published. The independence and impartiality of the evaluations are secured by carrying out third-party evaluations. External companies are selected through a public tender procedure.

In 2019, in line with the Evaluation plan of Poland’s development co-operation in 2018 and 2019, public information and promotion activities implemented under the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme 2016-2020 were evaluated and the results will inform future priorities and activities. Evaluations in 2020 are focusing on the Polish Aid Volunteering Programme and actions in the field of Global Education carried out from 2012-2020. Learn more about the 2019 evaluation in Poland.

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

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

2019 OECD-DAC mid-term review of Poland: www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/Poland-DAC-Mid-term-review-letter-2019.pdf

Polish Aid: https://www.polskapomoc.gov.pl/Polish,Aid,160.html

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland: https://www.gov.pl/web/diplomacy

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 2013.

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.

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

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