Oak Foundation

The Oak Foundation was established in 1983 to address issues of global, social and environmental concern. The Oak Foundation has a principal office in Switzerland and other offices in Denmark, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Oak Foundation supports civil society as a pillar of democracy and justice and nurtures innovation and visionary leadership within it. 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 provided USD 155.2 million for development in 2020 through its grantmaking activities. Compared to 2019, this amount represents an increase of 8% in real terms.

In 2020, the Oak Foundation provided USD 6.2 million of its total contributions for the COVID-19 response, representing 4% of its total gross bilateral development finance. Further, 1% of total gross development finance was provided as health expenditure within the COVID-19 response.

In 2020, the Oak Foundation provided USD 700 000 to the multilateral system as earmarked contributions to UNICEF.

See the section on Geographic and thematic focus for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system.

In 2020, the Oak Foundation channelled its grants mostly through non-governmental organisations and universities, research institutes and think tanks.

Most of these contributions were provided as project-type interventions and technical assistance such as capacity building, organisational effectiveness and research grants, while 20% was extended as core support.

In 2020, the Oak Foundation’s development finance was primarily focused on Asia (USD 35.4 million) and Africa (USD 23.8 million), accounting respectively for 23% and 15% of gross bilateral contributions. Fifty-three per cent of gross development finance was unspecified by region in 2020, mainly including multi-regional programmes, core support and research grants.

In 2020, the top recipients of the Oak Foundation’s grants included Brazil, India and the People’s Republic of China.

Least developed countries received USD 11.3 million (7%) of the Oak Foundation’s gross disbursements in 2020. Still, the Oak Foundation allocated the highest share of its development finance (23%) to middle-income countries in 2020, noting that 66% was unallocated by income group.

In 2020, 57% of the Oak Foundation’s contributions were allocated to social infrastructure and services, 21% to economic infrastructure and services, and 18% to multi-sector. In terms of sectors, the Oak Foundation’s largest allocations went to government and civil society, energy, and general environmental protection. Moreover, bilateral humanitarian aid amounted to USD 2.7 million.

In terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Oak Foundation committed most of its contributions to SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals) of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Moreover, USD 50.8 million (33%) was aimed at supporting SDG 5 (gender equality) and USD 46.3 million (30%) at SDG 13 (climate action). Four per cent of the Oak Foundation’s contributions to the climate agenda targeted adaptation, 87% targeted mitigation, and 9% targeted both adaptation and mitigation.

Official website: https://oakfnd.org

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, the SDG focus of private development finance, channels of delivery, unspecified/unallocated allocations, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

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