Donor Tracker: Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

What is the Donor Tracker?

The Donor Tracker is an open-access, online resource that offers free, independent analyses of 14 major OECD donors’ official development assistance (ODA). Covering 90% of the world’s ODA, the Donor Tracker provides data-driven insights on strategic priorities, funding trends, decision-making, and key opportunities for each of these donors. Its main purpose is to advance and support progress in global development by providing advocates with free, easy access to in-depth quantitative and qualitative strategic information to support their work. The Policy Updates and Events monitor highlights, on a weekly basis, news associated with global development, and important upcoming events of interest to our global development advocacy audience. 

Who is the Donor Tracker meant for?

Advocates for global development, researchers, policy-makers, think-tank analysts, journalists, and academics around the world should be able to benefit from the site. Those with a focus on the topics of agriculture, nutrition, global health, and global health research and development may find the Donor Tracker especially useful.

What does it mean to ‘sign-up’ and ‘sign-in’?

The Donor Tracker is an open-access resource that can be read by anyone – but signing up (or registering) on the Donor Tracker site creates a free user account. With it, when you sign in (log in) to the Donor Tracker, you will be able to:

  • Save your interests (specific donors, and/or any or all of the ‘interests‘: global development, agriculture, nutrition, global health, global health research and development)
  • Receive a Weekly Digest of Policy Updates and Events tailored to these saved interests. 
  • Receive alerts about updates to the Donor Profiles
  • Receive a Donor Tracker newsletter.

Which donors does Donor Tracker cover?

The Donor Tracker covers 14 of the world’s largest sources of official development assistance (ODA): Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, these donors contribute 90% of the world’s official development assistance (ODA). They are all members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and report to the DAC’s ODA databases, which allows for financial comparability. The Donor Tracker’s coverage is limited to public donors; it does not cover private donor engagement in international development.

Where does the Donor Tracker data come from?

The Donor Tracker contains data from various sources. Data on donors’ official development assistance (ODA) comes largely from the International Development Statistics (IDS) databases, which are maintained and published by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). These OECD databases provide the most standardized and comprehensive source of resource flows for development. More information on these databases can be found on the DAC’s FAQ on ODA reporting here. Data on global health R&D is from the annual G-FINDER reports, currently led by Policy Cures Research.

Additional supplementary information is provided by donor governments, multilateral organizations, and other sources to communicate recent developments. Data sources are cited throughout the Donor Tracker materials. For more details on what data we use in each section and figure (chart) of the Donor Profiles, please refer to the codebook.

 

How does the Donor Tracker treat issues related to currencies, exchange rates, and inflation? 

As much as possible, the Donor Tracker uses constant prices (2016 US dollars); this allows for comparability across donors and over time.

Specifically, all ODA data taken from the OECD DAC database used in Donor Tracker profiles is expressed in constant US dollars as provided by the OECD DAC. ‘Constant prices’ means that ODA figures are expressed in the value of a particular reference year (currently 2016). Thus, they include adjustments due to inflation, and changes in the exchange rates between the national currency of the donor country and the US dollar.

The Donor Tracker also includes data directly from donor websites on funding flows and projected spending, usually provided in their national currency. To ensure comparability, Donor Profiles also include the corresponding US dollar value. To convert these national currency amounts into US dollars, the annual average exchange rate in 2016 according to the OECD is applied. This allows this data to be comparable to the OECD DAC’s ODA data. 

Other exchange rates are used only in exceptional cases. This includes pledges made by donors to major multilateral instruments, like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. These organizations may apply different conversation rates when expressing a national currency pledge in US dollars. The Donor Profiles make reference to these official pledges to ensure alignment with the data communicated by these organizations. 

For more details on what data we use in each section and figure of the Donor Profiles, please refer to the codebook.

Can I download and print from the Donor Tracker website?

Yes, every Donor Profile is downloadable as a PDF, in its entirety or as separate sections. The Donor Tracker logo is embedded in the PDF files.

How often will the Donor Tracker be updated?

Relevant portions of the Donor Profiles are updated throughout the year when changes in the political and policy environments impact donors’ ODA environments. All Donor Profiles have been updated in 2018 with new 2016 data from the OECD. Users who register with the Donor Tracker and subscribe to the newsletter will receive announcements on all of these large updates.

Separately, the Policy Updates and Events sections of the site, which are sourced from news and current affairs, are updated every week. Users who register with the Donor Tracker and subscribe to the Weekly Digest will receive customized weekly policy updates and upcoming events by email.

Who funds the Donor Tracker?

Funding for the Donor Tracker is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has supported SEEK Development’s Donor Tracker project since its inception in 2011. In 2015, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed to fund an updated and expanded version of the Donor Tracker.

What is SEEK Development?

SEEK Development is a strategy and organizational consultancy focusing on global health and development, based in Berlin, Germany. SEEK originated the idea for the Donor Tracker in response to recognizing a need that others in the global development community shared: for a comprehensive, understandable source of information and analysis of major donors’ official development assistance. 

Since 2009, SEEK has supported international organizations, public sector, and civil society institutions on analyzing donor investments, policies, and decision-making structures. SEEK Development draws on this experience and deep content expertise to develop and maintain the Donor Tracker. SEEK Development also leverages its network of consultants in donor countries, which allows us to provide timely updates on new developments. More information on SEEK Development is available on its website: www.seekdevelopment.org.

Can I submit Policy Updates or Events listings to the Donor Tracker?

Yes. Please send listings that are relevant to any of the 14 donors’ ODA and development policies to policyupdates@seekdevelopment.org.

If I have questions or suggestions about content, whom should I contact?

Please email donortracker@seekdevelopment.org. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

If you have a press or media inquiry, please feel free to contact our team directly:

Raimund Zühr (rzuehr@seekdevelopment.org) for English, German, and Spanish

Sophie Hatzfeldt (svonhatzfeldt@seekdevelopment.org) for English, German, Spanish, and French

Our telephone number at SEEK Development is: +49 (0)30 4202 5211.