The OECD DAC responds to Eurodad’s new report on concessional lending

Added 28/Jan/14
Following the publication of our report, A matter of high interest: Assessing how loans are reported as development aid, the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) has responded with the following blog, written by Mr Jean Touchette, Senior Policy Analyst responsible for coordinating work on official development finance.

Your report,
A Matter of High Interest, and your blog post are an excellent summary of the issues and ongoing work on a very important area in the development debate. ODA has proven to be a resilient and relatively constant measure that has stood the test of time as a measure of effort towards development. Thus, great care must be taken when considering changing it. The DAC members are well aware of many of the criticisms of ODA and the DAC Secretariat has published several papers on such issues over the years, many of which are summarised here.

In December 2012 the DAC’s High Level Meeting (HLM), issued a mandate (see paragraphs 15 to 19) to elaborate a proposal for a new measure of total official support for development, explore ways of representing both donor effort and recipient benefit of development finance, investigate whether any resulting new measures of external development finance (including any new approaches to measure donor effort) suggest the need to modernise the ODA concept and establish, at the latest by 2015, a clear, quantitative definition of concessionality.

Substantive work is now underway and these are the latest papers on:

Additional papers on the overall project to deliver on the HLM mandate can be found on the OECD/DAC’s External Financing for Development webpage

Your paper is certainly a welcome contribution to the debate and we will consider its recommendations carefully. Indeed, many of the points you raised are also canvassed in the papers referenced above, but the DAC is yet to complete its deliberations on what action to take.

When we publish our data on ODA loans, DAC papers and other information on our website, such as the position of the EU, Germany on France on concessionality, we do so to promote transparency and to invite scrutiny. That’s exactly what we’ve achieved with your report, and the development debate is better for it.