by Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Chair, Development Assistance Committee
and Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD
This article is featured in the Development Co-operation Report 2017: Data for Development released today. Read the report and find out more about data for development.
If USD 142.6 billion falls in the forest of development and no one hears it, does it matter?
That depends on who you are. While mothers in Afghanistan or South Sudan can tell you how their families’ lives have been transformed by effective development programmes every single day, strong data are needed to communicate how these billions of dollars improve the human condition and create more stable societies for all.
In 2016 official development assistance (ODA) to support development goals represented 0.32% of donor countries’ gross national income, an all-time high. However, aid to those who need it most, including least developed countries (LDCs), is declining. The June 2017 report card on the 2030 Development Agenda – the world’s roadmap to end poverty, inequality and injustice for all by 2030 through a set of 17 goals and 232 indicators – tells us progress is slow and data are incomplete.
Now, more than ever, we need to tell the 360-degree story of how development investment touches lives and supports a more secure, stable and prosperous world. Data on development have the ability to amplify human stories beyond the borders of fragile and least developed states. The future of development co-operation depends on hard evidence about the impact that ODA has – and can have – with increased and well-targeted investments. We can’t afford not to get a clear picture and turn up the volume.