Jul 13th, 2012 11:11 AM UTC
By Isabelle De Lichtervelde
On Tuesday 10 July, ONE held an event together with Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Ivailo Kalfin who is one of the MEPs in charge of the EU budget 2014-2020 in the European Parliament. The Parliamentary briefing presented the main findings of ONE’s 2012 DATA report and focused specifically on development assistance to the poorest countries in the EU Budget 2014-2020.The panellists included Eloise Todd, ONE Brussels Director, MEP Ivailo Kalfin and Klavdija Cernilogar from CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development. The event was attended by around 50 representatives from the EU institutions, ACP embassies, EU Permanent Representations and civil society.
ONE’s 2012 DATA Report monitors the EU’s commitments to spend 0.7% of gross national income on development assistance by 2015, and provide half of all aid increases to Africa. Based on new findings of the DATA report, this event provided the opportunity to discuss the added value of development assistance channelled through the EU institutions. Member States spend on average around currently 21.5% of aid via the EU institutions –the European Commission’s proposal for the EU Budget 2014-2020 could therefore help get Member States closer to their 2015 development targets.
MEP Ivailo Kalfin first made opening remarks on future funding levels for development aid in the next EU budget and underlined that Europe’s priorities in external policy must be matched by adequate funding levels in the next spending cycle. Then Eloise Todd introduced ONE’s 2012 DATA Report and its main findings. Finally Klavdija Cernilogar made an intervention on the future of EU development policy and talked through the Aidwatch report. These interventions were followed by numerous questions and remarks from the floor, exploring some of the detail contained in the Data Report.
The European Parliament is in charge together with the 27 EU Member States represented in the EU’s Council of Ministers to negotiate the Commission’s proposal for the EU Budget 2014-2020 that was published last June. In its official position on the MFF, the European Parliament adopted a clear position on future EU development funding levels. An EP report published in 2011 stated that “the 2015 deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals and the collective Official Development Aid target of 0.7 % of GNI fall within the next MFF period” and that accordingly an “appropriate overall level of development aid and funding is required for the Union and its Member States to meet its international development commitments”. We will be working hard to make sure that development aid in the next EU budget is as effective as possible and brings Member States as close as possible to their targets.
Do you also want to protect European aid to the poorest countries? Sign our petition here!
Jul 6th, 2012 4:10 PM UTC
By Sara Messer
Last week ONE launched the seventh annual DATA Report, “Europe’s African Promise”, and we couldn’t be more excited about the reactions we’re receiving. Traditionally the report holds the world’s wealthiest countries accountable for the progress that they’ve made in meeting commitments to the world’s poorest countries. This year, the DATA Report 2012 focused on the European Union’s pledges to increase development assistance to 0.7% of gross national income by 2015, and provide half of all increases to Africa. To present our findings, ONE held launches in four European capitals and picked up media coverage in 10 European countries and across the globe.
In Paris, ONE held a press breakfast where we presented the main conclusions of the report, and shared the French version. The DATA Report was covered in key media outlets including AFP, Jeune Afrique, RFI, France 24, and Les Echos. The ONE team also personally delivered the report to the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Development, and the OECD.
In Berlin, ONE discussed the report at a luncheon with attendees from government, academia, nongovernmental organisations, and staffers from the German parliament. Some of Germanys’ bigger newspapers, such as the Tagesspiegel, the taz, the Frankfurter Rundschau and Financial Times Deutschland, as well as many regional newspapers referred to the report. See the German version here.
In Brussels, ONE presented the DATA Report at an event with a distinguished panel which included Mr. Reimer Boege MEP, and Mr. Andreas D. Mavroyiannis, Minister from Cyprus who holds the EU Presidency for the rest of this year. The panel also included Mr. Klaus Rudischhauser, a senior Director from within the European Commission. Press included Euractiv and Europost stories, as well as media across the EU, including Italy’s La Stampa and coverage in Latvia and Bulgaria.
In London, ONE held an event in coordination with AidWatch to present the findings of the DATA Report and the AidWatch Report 2012 to NGO and government representatives. The DATA Report was featured in articles in The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, and the BBC.
In addition to media, we’ve had statements by government leaders reacting to the DATA Report:
European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs—
“It is with great interest that I took note of the findings of ONE’s “The 2012 Data Report” which examines EU progress in reaching development aid funding and assesses the quality of aid provided by the EU institutions and Member States…While I take note of the recommendations to further improve our work and impact on the ground, this report is a valuable input for us in the framework of the discussions on the next 7 year budget and the next European Development Fund (2014-2020)…As Commissioner for Development, I will continue to call on Member States to keep their promises.”
Denmark Minister for Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach—
“The report from ONE underlines Denmark’s strong record as an aid contributor, not least in Africa. The government is very proud to have been able to not just secure existing aid budgets, but actually increase aid in a time of financial hardship and austerity”
“As the Danish EU presidency comes to an end, we are working as hard as ever to make sure that the EU reaches its own stated goals on development assistance.”
Here you can see a collection of links, blogs, and tweets from the launch day:
If you haven’t yet read the report you can do so here:
What’s your reaction to the DATA Report 2012?
Jun 26th, 2012 4:50 PM UTC
By Peter Taylor
This week sees the launch of the 2012 DATA report: a bumper edition of facts, figures, graphs and tables that shine a light on the progress made by European countries towards their aid promises.
To save trees, and see the report as widely read as possible we’re created ebook versions that are compatible with Kindle, iPad, and most other e-readers out there.
The ebook version of the report contains all the graphs and tables from the printed version.
You can download the ebook versions of the report here – mobi format works on the Kindle and epub with the iPad.
On the iPad you can transfer the ebook by dragging it into iTunes and then synching with your iPad – you’ll need the iBook reader software to open the book file.
On the Kindle (and other e-readers) the easiest option is to use the free Calibre ebook managment software – once you’ve installed this program you can attach your e-reader and transfer the files across. Calibre automatically converts the ebook to the correct format for your device.
We’d love to know what you think!
Jun 25th, 2012 12:35 PM UTC
By Tamira Gunzburg
Today marks the launch of ONE’s 2012 DATA Report. This year, the report monitors the EU’s commitments to development and to Africa.
EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs welcomed the DATA report in a statement today. On the EU chapter, which looks in detail at the quantity and quality of EU institutions aid, Commissioner Piebalgs said:
“I was particularly pleased to see that the EU institutions rank in first position on Transparency and among leaders in terms of aid efficiency and evaluation. The report also recognizes a strong push made by EU institutions to demonstrate the value of development work and clearly communicate not only on inputs, but also results. In times of constraint resources, this is a strong encouragement to pursue our objective to use aid in the most efficient way in order to achieve highest impact…”
The DATA report tracks the progress of the EU institutions and the 27 EU Member States towards their promised goals of collectively providing 0.7% of their Gross National Income towards development assistance by 2015. Commissioner Piebalgs welcomed our focus on Europe, saying:
“On Official Development Assistance, while the report rightly underlines the need to increase aid budgets to meet the 0.7% target, I’m happy to see that it reminds at the same time that the EU, together with Member States, is the largest donor in the world with €53 billion of development aid in 2011, which represents more than 54% of global aid.”
The EU and its Member States also promised to direct half of all aid increases to Africa. The DATA report finds that while progress towards the 0.7% goal is mixed, all are lagging on their Africa promises. Commissioner Piebalgs takes note of this in his statement, and offers that:
“In the “Agenda for Change”*, I made it clear that I want to focus aid even more on the poorest of the planet, in particular those who live in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). As majority of the LDCs are in Africa, this push will obviously result in a greater proportion of aid going to Africa.”
The DATA report shows that we have a crucial window of opportunity right now to keep on track towards those targets, and Commissioner Piebalgs agrees:
“This year will witness key decisions that will set the stage for progress in development policy, notably the negotiations on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework. I am pleased to see the report’s conclusions according to which the European Commission “plays a key role in the global fight against extreme poverty” and that EU budget helps Member States to achieve their individual aid commitments.”
In closing, Piebalgs assured readers that “as Commissioner for Development, [he] will continue to call on Member States to keep their promises.” Please ask other EU leaders to protect development spending in the next EU budget and help your country stay on track to help the world’s poorest. Sign our petition here.
* “Agenda for Change” is the EU’s development policy launched by Commissioner Piebalgs in October 2011.
Jun 25th, 2012 9:24 AM UTC
By Adrian Lovett
One of the most important things we try to do here at ONE is hold leaders accountable for their promises to the world’s poorest countries. Each year we release a scorecard of how well the wealthiest countries are doing against their commitments – it’s called the DATA Report.
For six years, the DATA report tracked progress against the Gleneagles commitments made by the G7 in 2005. Those commitments expired in 2010. So this year the DATA Report turns its attention to the European Union and its bold commitments to continue increasing development assistance up to 2015.
With the economic crisis bringing austerity to much of Europe, this year’s report is especially important. In times of plenty it is easy to be generous – but in times of crisis, keeping those promises counts more than ever.
The 2012 DATA report reveals that some of the poorest people are paying the price of the economic crisis. Aid from the European Union declined last year for the first time since 2002, with fourteen EU countries cutting their aid. Aid promises to Africa are well off-track. Perhaps unsurprisingly the biggest cuts come from countries most hit by the crisis, namely Spain and Greece.
But that isn’t the whole story. The report also shows that some countries are protecting aid. Germany, Sweden, Italy and Belgium all succeeded in increasing aid last year. The Netherlands and Ireland have so far protected their promises to the poorest people during the crisis. And the UK remains on track to meet its promise to reach 0.7% of national income in aid from March 2013.
Some may argue the Europe has no choice but to cut aid during the crisis. However the economic crisis also puts into perspective Europe’s promises to Africa. European leaders leveraged €100 billion in a few days for a short-term fix to tide over Spanish banks. That’s five times the amount needed to deliver Europe’s promise to Africa from now to 2015. This aid could achieve so much – if invested in agriculture for example, if could lift over 20 million people out of poverty. It’s a sum of money that is small change in the context of European spending, but could make a very big difference to the lives of those in poverty.
There is an opportunity very soon for European leaders to start to turn this around. Leaders are beginning to negotiate the next European budget. Out of a proposed €1 trillion seven-year budget, €51 billion – just five per cent – is earmarked to help fight poverty. It is vital that even as leaders try to reduce the overall budget, they protect this amount.
When Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the rest of Europe’s leaders meet in Brussels this weekend, the 2012 DATA report must be a reminder to them that their promises to Africa have not been forgotten.
Apr 11th, 2012 3:25 PM UTC
By Sara Messer
For the first time in over a decade (excluding years of exceptional debt relief), global levels of development assistance decreased in 2011. Preliminary figures released by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) last week show that global official development assistance (ODA) dropped by $3.5 billion between 2010 and 2011, representing a 2.7% decrease. ONE’s analysis (which is in constant prices and excludes debt relief) shows that G7 members accounted for 55% of this decrease—particularly Japan and the US, who both cut their ODA by over $1 billion. Only Germany and Italy reported increases in ODA from 2010 to 2011.
The effects of the financial crisis and ongoing recession in Europe are starting to show, as the majority of the EU 15 countries decreased ODA in 2011. Spain reported the largest decrease in terms of volume at $1.7 billion. Belgium and Sweden were the only non-G7 EU countries to increase development assistance.
Despite drops in global development assistance, spending in sub-Saharan Africa continued to increase in 2011. ONE’s analysis shows that development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa increased by 4.0% ($1.7 billion) between 2010 and 2011. The largest increases (over $300 million or more) came from Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the UK. Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, the UK, and the US all decreased their global ODA, yet increased ODA to sub-Saharan Africa in 2011, indicating their prioritization of the region. However 10 donors still decreased aid to sub-Saharan Africa, including Canada, Norway, and 8 EU countries.
While the Gleneagles commitments ended in 2010, the member states of the EU still have commitments to reach ODA levels of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) by 2015. For the EU, excluding debt relief, total net ODA was 0.44% of combined GNI in 2010 and down to 0.43% in 2011, as measured against the collective target of 0.7% by 2015. Countries will have to make significant increases over the next three years to meet their targets.
In June, ONE’s DATA Report will show the EU’s progress towards meeting these commitments. This year’s report will also assess the quality of EU development assistance and analyze the European Commission’s spending as well as the proposed increases to development assistance in the EC’s budget for 2014-2020 (called the multi-annual financial framework).
We applaud countries that are holding the line on development spending, and continue to work towards their targets despite the tough fiscal environment. These countries know that smart investments in health, agriculture, and education can mean millions of lives saved and improved for those in developing countries—results that will translate into global benefits and build self-sufficiency so that one day, the world’s poorest countries no longer need outside assistance.
May 20th, 2011 10:34 AM UTC
By Friederike Röder
Following the tradition started last year at the G8 in Canada, this year’s French presidency prepared an accountability report together with the other G8 countries, which outlines the state of delivery and results of the G8’s commitments on fighting extreme poverty.
Let’s start with the positives: it is commendable that the G8 continues with preparing such reports. Great promises are one thing, but keeping them and proving to have kept them is equally important. This is exactly what ONE has been saying for years (and showing the example for) with the DATA report.
It is also good to draw attention to the commitments on food security and maternal health, the focus of this year’s report. The report has the merit of establishing a baseline for the different commitments, reporting back on disbursements already made and giving a time line for outstanding disbursements. So far, so good. But…
There is a massive “but”. The G8 have found an artful way to embellish their performance. The report puts the spotlight on figures in today’s prices and tracks progress against them. It is a major issue, because current prices cannot be compared properly across years. This is why the OECD recommends using constant prices, prices that take into account changes in exchange rates and inflation from year to year and give an honest picture of the real efforts that were made. To put it simply $1 in 2010 doesn’t buy as much as $1 in 2005.
The result of tracking progress in current prices? Forgetting inflation suddenly makes the G8 look much better than it really is. Gleneagles’ targets are missed, but only by a “little” $1.27bn. Great success. Pat on the back. Except that taking inflation into account shows a very different picture. The G8 shortfall is in fact $19bn!
Careful readers will notice that the report also mentions the $19bn shortfall. Very careful readers, in fact. The figure is dropped in passing, immersed in a sea of data and tables all in current prices. Predictably, it is a blessing for countries that haven’t performed well and can conveniently quote the report to avoid facing their failure. Take Germany. The Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a press release yesterday, which selectively quotes the report to give itself a pass, when Germany’s under performance is in reality costing $ 4bn to the developing world.
As ONE’s Executive Director, Jamie Drummond, said yesterday:
“We cannot allow countries who are breaking promises to the world’s poor to hide behind misleading figures. When the G8 leaders gather in France next week they must acknowledge that accountability is more than just a PR exercise.”
This year’s G8 meeting on Africa (with the African Union and founding members of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development – NEPAD) will also examine the first accountability report prepared by the African side. We can only hope that Africa will have the courage to look shortfalls in the eyes.
May 16th, 2011 1:59 PM UTC
By Katie Martin
New analysis published by ONE today has given the final verdict on the aid promises that were made by world leaders at the G8 summit in Gleneagles in 2005. The DATA Report 2011, also sets out the steps that need to be taken to make a renewed push towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals. It suggests new innovative finance schemes and identifies other measures to support proven smart aid programmes that help the poorest people in the poorest nations build a path out of poverty.
Key points from the report are:
Launching the report Jamie Drummond, Executive Director of ONE, said:
“Unfortunately it comes as no surprise that Prime Minister Berlusconi has yet again abjectly failed to deliver on his promises – and we continue to call for Italy to be at least temporarily removed from the G8 for this reason. But it’s worrying that President Sarkozy and France are so far behind in a year when so much is expected of them as hosts of the G8 and G20, and at a time when African development, peace and democracy is at the top of the global agenda. It is also hugely disappointing that Germany – which has weathered the economic storm so well – has performed so badly on its development promises. These three nations must urgently get back on track by setting out clear timetables to meet the promises they made to give 0.7% of their national incomes as overseas aid by 2015. At the same time, non-European G8 countries like the US, Canada and Japan should set new, ambitious commitments for aid to sub-Saharan Africa.”
However, it is clear that even if G8 donors meet all their existing and future promises on aid, much more money needs to be invested in developing countries if we are to reach the Millennium Development Goals and pull millions of people out of poverty.
That is why the DATA Report outlines 6 options for the G8 and G20 to generate innovative financing for development. These range from financial sector levies to African diaspora bonds, and could each help to raise billions of dollars to help fund smart aid programmes.
In this time of global austerity, the DATA Report also looks at how donors have performed against targets to improve the effectiveness of aid to ensure that their investments have the biggest possible impact, although a thorough analysis of progress was not possible due to a lack of available data. However the report did note that some donors, notably the UK, US and Canada, are increasingly emphasizing results by setting clear targets for the outcomes they intend to achieve with their aid. When countries meet for the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in South Korea later this year they should set clear standards for monitoring these results. They should also renew their efforts to improve aid and budget transparency and meet their commitments from previous aid effectiveness forums in Paris and Accra.
Check out the report, including interactive datasets, at one.org/data
May 25th, 2010 9:56 PM UTC
By Nora Coghlan
We just wrapped up a press conference launching the 2010 DATA Report in Ottawa. ONE’s President and CEO, David Lane, was joined by two powerful Canadian advocates – Belinda Stronach, and Yasmin Warsame, Somali-Canadian model and humanitarian. Canada – who will be hosting the G8 and G20 summits next month – met its Gleneagles commitment last year, but despite its pledge to champion maternal, newborn and child health and accountability at this year’s G8, it but has yet to outline a new partnership with Africa moving forward.
We’ll have video from the launch shortly.
TAGS: DATA Report
May 25th, 2010 9:55 PM UTC
By Sergius Seebohm
The DATA Report was launched today– Africa Day– in Berlin. A strong panel addressed the messages of the report. Hon. Zitto Kabwe, Member of Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania, gave a fascinating insight to the African perspective of development cooperation. He also explained how aid has helped to bring about concrete improvements in his very own constituency.
Prof. Helmut Reisen, head of research of the OECD Development Centre, took a look at the G8 commitments altogether and alerted the audience to the so called “new donors”. Prof. Dr. Robert Kappel, President of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) highlighted the economic prospects and challenges of African countries.
Germany’s final report card is not outstanding, as ONE’s Germany director Tobias Kahler pointed out. Only 25% of its Gleneagles promise was kept, especially since Berlin did not direct as much of its ODA raises to Africa as committed.
We also had a DATA Report launch in Ottawa, Canada that just wrapped up. We’ll have a report from that event soon. And we’ll have lots more on the 2010 DATA Report in coming days.
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
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