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The effectiveness of Official Development Assistance spending

The UK spent £14.1 billion on Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2017. This was the fifth consecutive year that the UK has met the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) target to spend 0.7% of gross national income on ODA. Over this period a decreasing proportion of ODA has been spent by the Department for International Development – increasingly, other government departments and cross-government funds have contributed to meeting the target (rising from 11% in 2013 to 28% in 2017).

This report, looking at the effectiveness of ODA spending, builds on our July 2017 report on ODA, which focused on the preparedness of other government departments to spend ODA and government’s stewardship of the target. We will assess whether ODA spending across government is effective by considering three areas:

  • whether the allocation of ODA focuses sufficiently on effectiveness;
  • whether departments’ ODA projects are meeting planned objectives; and,
  • whether the centre of government maintains good oversight of the effectiveness of ODA spending.

If you would like to provide evidence for our study, please email the study team on enquiries@nao.org.uk putting the study title in the subject line. The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly. If you need to raise a concern, please use our contact form.