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Goal 8. Develop a global partnership for development Target 8B. Address the special needs of the least developed countries. Includes: tariff and quota-free access for least developed countries’ exports; enhanced programme of debt relief for HIPCs and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous ODA for countries committed to poverty reduction.


This indicator is the proportion of total bilateral, sector-allocable official development assistance (ODA) provided by an Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development/Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) donor country directly to a developing country, that is committed for improving basic social services, including basic education, primary health care (including reproductive health and population programmes), nutrition programmes and safe water and sanitation programmes.

This indicator is expressed as a percentage.

Bilateral assistance consists of flows that are provided directly by a donor country to an aid recipient country.

Sector-Allocable assistance consists of flows that are allocated for specific sectors such as health, energy or agriculture. Contributions not subject to allocation include general budget support, actions related to debt, humanitarian aid and internal transactions in the donor country.

Official development assistance (ODA) comprises grants and loans (i.e. flows or transfers of resources, either in cash or in the form of commodities or services) to developing countries and territories on the OECD/DAC list of ODA recipients and to multilateral development institutions that are provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies. The flows must have the promotion of the economic development and the welfare of the recipient countries as their main objective. ODA transactions are made at concessional terms and convey a grant element of at least 25 per cent (calculated at a rate of discount of 10 per cent). Technical cooperation is included. Grants, loans and credits for military purposes are excluded.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) is a committee that consists of major bilateral donor countries and the European Commission, which coordinate their aid programmes around common objectives.

Developing countries and territories for this indicator are considered as countries eligible for ODA according to the DAC list of ODA recipients. (See references for link to current list of countries).

Basic social services (BSS) include the following services:
  • Basic education, which comprises primary education, basic life skills for youth and adults and early childhood education.
  • Primary health care, which includes basic health care, basic health infrastructure, basic nutrition, infectious disease control, health education and health personnel development.
  • Population policies/programmes and reproductive health, which include population policy and administrative management, reproductive health care, family planning, sexually transmitted disease (STD) control including HIV/AIDS, and personnel development for population and reproductive health.
  • Basic drinking water supply and basic sanitation, which include water supply and sanitation through low-cost technologies such as handpumps, spring catchment, gravity-fed systems, rain water collection, storage tanks, small distribution systems; latrines, small-bore sewers, on-site disposal (septic tanks).

Method of computation
The indicator is calculated by dividing the total sum of ODA committed by a country to basic social services in developing countries by the country’s total bilateral, sector-allocable ODA commitments and multiplying by 100.


The World Summit on Social Development at Copenhagen in 1995 suggested the possibility of “mutual commitment between interested developed and developing country partners to allocate, on average, 20 per cent of ODA and 20 per cent of the national budget, respectively, to basic social programmes”. These programmes comprise basic education, basic health, population and reproductive health programmes, and poverty-focused water and sanitation projects. This indicator measures the level of support of each donor country toward basic social services activities in developing countries.


Data on ODA are part of DAC members’ official statistical reporting to the OECD. Non-DAC donors' reporting takes place on a voluntary basis. A network of national statistical correspondents collects data from aid agencies and government departments (central, state and local) on an ongoing basis. Their task is also to ensure that reporting conforms to the Statistical Reporting Directives (definitions and classifications) agreed by the DAC. The DAC responds to any questions about the data and can also give users advice on data analysis.

ODA is classified by purpose codes. Purpose codes identify the specific area of the recipient’s economic or social structure the transfer is intended to foster.


Data on ODA flows for basic social services can be disaggregated by donor, recipient country or geographical region, as well as by sector and aid activity.


Each ODA activity can be assigned only one purpose code. For activities cutting across several sectors, either a multi-sector code or the code corresponding to the largest component of the aid activity is used. This means that basic social service (BSS) commitments which are not the largest component of an aid activity are not captured by the indicator. Conversely, the indicator can capture some non-basic social services commitments in activities where BSS is the largest component.


ODA can support gender equality and women’s empowerment. Donors score relevant activities with a gender equality policy marker as defined by the DAC. This marker identifies activities which are focused principally or significantly on achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. As the marker is applied to each activity, it is possible to analyse how much bilateral aid to basic social services supports gender equality and women’s empowerment.


The OECD is the international agency responsible for disseminating global figures for this indicator. Estimates are published annually at the end of the calendar year in the International Development Statistics (IDS) database.

All data on ODA are collected by the OECD/DAC Secretariat from 24 member countries, and then checked and aggregated. The DAC Secretariat collects data from donors through two different systems:
  • The DAC Questionnaire is a set of six statistical tables completed by DAC members, who report the amount and destination of their official and private flows made in the previous year. Detailed information is collected regarding the destination, form, terms, sector and tying status of official flows. A simplified form of the questionnaire is completed by multilateral agencies. Non-DAC donors also report on a voluntary basis on an abridged questionnaire.
  • The Creditor Reporting System (CRS) is a system for reporting individual official aid activities (both ODA and other official flows) relevant to development. Reports are received directly from participating official agencies, including bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, development lending institutions.

Data are published annually by the OECD at the end of the calendar year in the International Development Statistics (IDS) database.

Regional and global aggregates are computed by straight addition and do not involve any estimation for missing values.




ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT. DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE (annual). Development Co operation Report. Paris. Available from http://www.oecd.org/dac/dcr

ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT. DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE (annual). International Development Statistics. Paris. Available from http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/idscd

ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT ().DAC List of ODA Recipients. Paris. Available from www.oecd.org/dac/stats/daclist ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (2006). Analysis of aid for Basic Social Services, 1995-2004. Paris. Available from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/21/1/40162681.pdf

ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT. Directives for reporting to the aid activity database (Creditor Reporting System). Paris. Available from http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/crsdirectives

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