This blog is part of an ongoing series evaluating various facets of Development in Transition. The 2019 “Perspectives on Global Development” on “Rethinking Development Strategies” will add to this discussion
On 27 November 1095, Pope Urban declared the crusades ostensibly a religious call, but one that reinforced the power of the spiritual over the temporal. To support the crusades, the church built a financial institution by leveraging the Templars under the Papal bull Omnes Datum Optimum, creating a monastic banking system that gave birth to such financial innovations as letters of credit, banking and, by extension, fiduciary products like trusts.
By Simon Scott, Counsellor, OECD Statistics and Data Directorate
One of the compensations of growing old is that you may eventually find out what you always wanted to know.
Fifteen years ago I wrote an OECD study on Philanthropic Foundations and Development Co-operation which – despite its many glowing virtues – was decidedly thin on systematic financial and sectoral detail. Most of all, I found it almost impossible to get a handle on what the biggest development philanthropy of all, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was up to.
Now, in my dotage, my questions are answered by an excellent new study, Private Philanthropy for Development, a joint project of the OECD’s Development Centre and Development Co-operation Directorate.
How large is private philanthropy’s financial contribution to development? Answer: USD 24 billion from 2013 to 2015 inclusive, or USD 8 billion a year. What is the share of the Gates Foundation? 49%, which goes mostly to health, with agriculture next. And, by the way, the authors of these figures are not just guessing: they developed a special new data survey completed by 77 philanthropies and also gathered publically available information on many more. All the data – partly aggregated to protect confidentiality – are available here, and constitute a major new information resource.
By Bathylle Missika, Senior Counsellor to the Director of the OECD Development Centre and Head of Unit – Partnerships & Networks, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
People around the world have little faith in the ability of just governments to deliver on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They know governments alone can’t promote sustainable development and prosperity for all. What will make a difference is involving new partners. Philanthropic foundations, with their resources, expertise and quest for innovation, are prime partners in development. But how do we unleash the power of philanthropy to be agents of development change? How can we tap into this community of philanthropists and leverage their ability to take risks and to innovate in sectors like education, gender or youth empowerment? Better understanding foundations and how they view the 2030 Agenda will help us better partner with them. That’s why the OECD’s Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) unveiled a new circle typology to outline a fresh way to think about and understand philanthropies and their role in advancing the SDGs and well-being overall. Continue reading “The three circles of philanthropy: Taking a tiered approach to achieving the SDGs”
By Bathylle Missika (Acting) Head of Policy Dialogue Division, OECD Development Centre The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have such scale and complexity that they require governments to strengthen co-operation with a broad range of development actors. Foundations, among others, may play a role both in financing development as well as in designing and implementing innovative projects. On the one hand, North-South flows from foundations based … Continue reading More than money: Optimising philanthropy’s potential to fast-track development