Oak Foundation

Introduction

The Oak Foundation was established in 1983 to address issues of global, social and environmental concern. The foundation supports civil society as a pillar of democracy and justice and nurtures innovation and visionary leadership within it. The Oak Foundation has a principal office in Switzerland and other offices in Denmark, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Programmes benefiting developing countries include: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse, Environment, International Human Rights, Issues Affecting Women, Learning Differences, India, Zimbabwe and Brazil.

The Oak Foundation has been sharing its commitment data with the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate since 2018. For charts and analyses using disbursement data, commitments are used as a proxy for disbursements.

Private development finance

In 2017, the Oak Foundation provided USD 111.2 million in private development finance through standard grants.

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All of the foundation’s funding was provided bilaterally. In addition, the Oak Foundation did not channel any of its funds through the multilateral system (multi-bi/non-core contributions).

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In 2017, USD 90.6 million (81.5%) of the foundation’s activities was channelled to/through civil society organisations (CSOs) and USD 14.3 million (12.9%) to/through universities, colleges or other teaching institutions, research institutes or think tanks. Moreover, USD 5.9 million (5.3%) was channelled to/through networks and public-private partnerships. See the methodological notes for further details on channels of delivery.

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In 2017, the foundation’s activities were primarily focused on Africa and the Americas. USD 13.3 million (14.9%) was allocated to south of Sahara Africa; and USD 12.0 million (10.8%) to South, Central and North America.

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In 2017, 24.7% of the Oak Foundation’s funding was concentrated on its top 10 recipients. Support to fragile contexts reached USD 15.0 million in 2017 (13.5%).

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In 2017, 7.5% of the Oak Foundation’s financing (USD 8.4 million) was allocated to the least developed countries (LDCs). Upper and lower middle-income countries received the highest share of the foundation’s funding in 2017 (13.7% and 11.4% respectively), noting that 65.8% was unallocated by income group.

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In 2017, 59.8% of the foundation’s activities was allocated to social infrastructure and services, for a total of USD 66.5 million, with a strong focus on government and civil society (e.g. human rights; women’s equality organisations and institutions and ending violence against women and girls; and education. Moreover, 15.7% (USD 17.4 million) was allocated to multi-sector/cross-cutting, particularly general environmental protection.

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USD 18.3 million of total funding from the foundation supported gender equality. In 2017, 18.6% of the Oak Foundation’s sector-allocable financing had gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal or significant objective, in particular in sectors such as government and civil society, other social infrastructure and services, and population and reproductive health.

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USD 31.2 million of the Oak Foundation’s funding supported the environment. In 2017, 31.7% of its sector-allocable aid supported the environment, USD 17.7 million of which had climate change mitigation and/or adaptation as a principal or significant objective.

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Additional resources

Oak Foundation: www.oakfnd.org

Role of philanthropy in financing for development: www.oecd.org/development/financing-sustainable-development/development-finance-standards/beyond-oda-foundations.htm

OECD CRS database, Private philanthropy for development: https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=DV_DCD_PPFD

Reporting to the OECD since 2018.

Oak Foundation