Today marks the launch of the 10th annual DATA Report – ONE’s yearly flagship report monitoring development spending and holding leaders accountable to their promises to the world’s poorest. And in this momentous year, when world leaders will agree on new Global Goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals, success depends on whether these Goals will be fully financed. This year, the most vulnerable, especially girls and women, must be prioritized, yet financing for the very poorest is decreasing, negotiations between nations are souring, and there is a distinct lack of political leadership to give both the Global Goals and the financing talks the kind of attention they deserve. This year’s DATA Report 2015 serves as a rallying call to action for governments everywhere as we call on everyone to put the poorest first.
The overall recommendations of the report are wrapped in a five-point plan for the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa that will be held in July.
The first point of the plan is to ensure access to basic services – minimum funding levels to ensure the basic needs of every person can be meet, including health and education, with a focus on girls and women. Healthy and educated people with access to basic services can have a real chance of positively contributing to the economies of poor countries.
The second call is for increased domestic government revenues – new rules of the financial game could be agreed in Addis that could help countries unlock more of their own resources if the right policies are set and ambitious investments made. Countries’ own resources are the largest financing flows for development, and ONE recommends that countries set ambitious, nationally defined revenue-to-GDP targets and halve the gap to their target by 2020.
The third point of the plan is a call for governments to reboot development assistance so it is targeted where it is most needed, with 50% going to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and donors setting a timetable to reach the international target of spending 0.7% of GNI on aid. The report finds that Official Development Assistance (ODA) to LDCs fell by 2% in 2014, despite global aid actually increasing by 2%. Despite the greater needs of those living in the poorest countries, LDCs received less than a third of total aid in 2014. Had they received 50% of aid, they would have had an additional $26.5 billion in ODA, enough to vaccinate every single child in the LDCs.
The fourth point of the plan is for investments to boost inclusive growth to drive up productivity, in particular in agriculture, infrastructure, energy, trade and private finance, in turn expanding the pool of domestic resources available for countries to invest in the basic services that help sustain and educate future generations to become productive members of society.
We also call for strong accountability through a data revolution: the lack of data available to map poverty and to track investments renders many development efforts inefficient, incomplete, and often failing the most vulnerable.
In July, leaders and Finance Ministers will gather to participate in the Addis Ababa Conference. It is a chance in a generation to reset the global agenda and make sure that future promises are kept, trust between north and south is repaired and global leaders unite to set the world on the path away from extreme poverty and towards sustainable prosperity. It can be done, but it needs action, fast. The DATA Report 2015 has a five-point plan to kick progress in the right direction and make sure we don’t miss the opportunity to end extreme poverty in our lifetime.