On its 30th anniversary, The Reality of Aid Network (RoA) publishes its Reality of Aid Report 2023, marking 30 years of reporting back on aid and development and encapsulating key shifts in the global aid landscape.

Thirty years have elapsed and yet the Global North continues to fall short on the 0.7% ODA target. Over this period, several trends have emerged in development cooperation, highlighting the involvement of the private sector, the geopoliticization of aid, the increasing share of climate finance in ODA, and the emergence of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSC and TrC) — all of which shape the aid provided to the Global South.

The Reality of Aid Report 2023 features a Political Overview which presents CSO perspectives in relation to the six main aid trends highlighted above. It also serves as the foundation of the global and regional aid trends chapters that follow. “A Pivotal Moment for Aid: Eradicating poverty in a changing landscape for development cooperation” looks into the major global development cooperation trends in 2022, followed by chapters breaking down the trends in developing cooperation in five regions (Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Carribbean, Europe OECD, and non-Europe OECD). 

The report stresses that the major economic, political and social phenomena in these trends can be traced to the dominance of neoliberal economic policies resulting in unequal exchange, economic crises, and intensification of geopolitical rivalries, broader emergence and subsequent prominence of SSC and TrC, and increase in protracted conflicts in the world.

For three whole decades now, The Reality of Aid, together with its members and partners, has focused on magnifying Global South narratives to advocate for policy reforms in development cooperation, with emphasis on enhancing democratic governance, promoting a people-centered and sustainable development, and upholding rights-based approach to programming and operations.

In response to the trends over the past years, civil society calls on these key recommendations:

  • Developed countries must increase ODA levels to reach, even exceed, their pledge of 0.7% GNI for ODA and safeguard ODA allocations for reducing poverty and inequalities. 
  • Push back against the trend of increasing loans in ODA. 
  • Reinstate the priority given to public sector financing for development goals. 
  • The World Bank must rethink its historical record and future direction, and aspire to reduce global inequalities while enshrining democratic governance in its operations.
  • Ensure that development cooperation is aligned with the development needs of Global South countries, not of geopolitical interests.
  • Developed countries must fulfill their pledge of USD 100 billion climate finance by 2025 and uphold the UNFCCC provision that climate financing should be “new and additional” to ODA.
  • Through the Triple Nexus approach, address the root causes of chronic crisis situations that have been receiving the biggest section of humanitarian assistance, which has been increasing, with a view to decreasing the humanitarian needs of affected populations. 
  • Encourage dialogues between the best principles and practices of SSC and TrC on the one hand and the dominant aid regime on the other. 
  • Civil society should strengthen, whenever possible, partnership and cooperation with social movements that struggle against unequal exchange, neoliberal economic policies, climate change, and other phenomena that are deleterious to people-centered and sustainable development that gained strength in the past 30 years. 

Thirty years of intensifying aid and development cooperation phenomena continue to disproportionately target the marginalized in the Global South. The RoA Report 2023 thus asserts that safeguarding ODA is still the most crucial step in reducing poverty and inequality with the aim of reaching the furthest behind first. 

The RoA Report is now available for download

The Spanish version is also now available for download.

For correspondence, email roaap_secretariat@realityofaid.org


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