At a glance
Strategic priorities
  • Korea’s second Strategic Plan for International Development Cooperation for 2016-2020 prioritizes economic infrastructure, environmental policy, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) alignment, girls’ health and education, and agricultural development. It also places a strong focus on transparency, accountability, and sustainability.
  • According to the 2020 International Development Cooperation Implementation Plan, funding will focus on sectors where Korea has a comparative advantage, notably: transport, information technology (IT), health, water hygiene and sanitation (WASH), and education.  
  • The 2020 implementation plan calls for greater synergies between loans and grants, stronger partnership with civil society and international organizations, and increasing investment in priority sectors, including humanitarian assistance.
  • South Korea disburses a high proportion of its ODA bilaterally through concessional loans and focuses on its regional neighbors. 11 of South Korea’s 24 priority countries are in Asia.

For further details on methodology, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.

Outlook
  • The government is developing its third Strategic Plan for International Development Cooperation (2021-2025). Publication is expected in late 2020. The new strategy is expected to focus on achieving the SDGs and increasing the volume and effectiveness of South Korea’s ODA, including provisions to improve synergies between ODA projects implemented by different agencies.  
  • The government intends to further align development cooperation with their foreign and national policies and strategies, including through implementing the government’s New Southern Policy and the New Northern Policy. 
  • Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has established a committee to develop a New KOICA 2030 Transformation Plan. The committee is expected to make recommendations on KOICA’s future strategic direction including defining KOICA’s objectives and strategy to achieve the SDGs through ODA.

Key resources

Government sources

Other official sources

 

  • OECD; OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Korea; 2018