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 over 80% of the world’s ODA, the Donor Tracker provides data-driven insights on donors' strategic priorities, funding trends, decision-making, and key opportunities. Our purpose is to advance and support progress in global development by providing advocates with free, easy access to comprehensive quantitative data and qualitative strategic information. Weekly policy updates highlight news in global development and important upcoming events of interest to our global audience.

Who is the Donor Tracker meant for?

Advocates for global development, researchers, policy-makers, think-tank analysts, students, journalists, and academics around the world can benefit from the site. Those with a focus on agriculture, climate, gender equality, global health, global health research and development, or nutrition 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. By signing up with the Donor Tracker, users are able to:

  • Save their interests (specific donors and sectors)
  • Receive a customized weekly digest of policy updates tailored to their selected interests
  • Receive alerts about the latest 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, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, these donors contribute over 80% of the world’s 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 comparison. The Donor Tracker’s coverage is limited to public donors; it does not cover private donor engagement in international development.

Which information does the Donor Tracker provide?

Our website is comprised of four main parts:

  • Donor Profiles:
    The Donor Tracker publishes detailed profiles of 14 major donors of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Our profiles draw on quantitative data (primarily sourced directly from OECD databases) and contextualizes these data points with qualitative information drawn from government documents, budgets, policies, and civil society sources.
  • Sectors:
    The Donor Tracker assesses each donor across seven key sectors: agriculture, climate, education, gender equality, global health, global health research and development, and nutrition.
  • Insights:
    The Donor Tracker publishes long-form Insights and Partner Perspectives pieces, which focus on cross-donor analyses of global development trends. Insights are written by our in-house experts at SEEK Development and Partner Perspectives provide a platform for peer organizations to share their important work.
  • Policy Updates:
    Policy updates, published on a weekly basis, document the latest global development news emerging from each of the 14 countries we profile. Users can have policy updates delivered directly to their inbox each week by subscribing to our Weekly Digest.

For more information on how to use the Donor Tracker, check out our Insights piece, 'Using the Donor Tracker: a Guide for Advocates'.

What are the Donor Tracker's Country Profiles?

The Donor Profiles cover the 14 largest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors. Each Donor Profile contains the following sections:

  • 'At a Glance', where users will find a broad summary of the country’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), funding trends, strategic priorities, and future outlook;
  • 'Sections', where users can read in more depth about trends in the donor’s ODA over time, the policy priorities shaping its ODA, how and where its ODA is spent, which main actors are involved in decision-making on global development financing, how the country’s development budget is structured, and how its budgeting process works; and
  • 'Sectors', where users can read about the country’s policies and financing in key sectors including agriculture, climate, education, gender equality, global health, global health research and development, and nutrition.

Every donor profile is downloadable as a PDF in its entirety or in separate sections. The charts in the donor profiles are also downloadable.

Our donor profiles are updated when policy changes impact any of the data and analysis we publish. Users who register with the Donor Tracker can opt to receive alerts.

What are the Donor Tracker's Policy Updates?

The weekly policy updates highlight the latest global development news. Users can read all policy updates on the Donor Tracker website or sign up to receive our Weekly Digest, a customizable weekly email showcasing the latest in global development news in the countries or sectors which the user has selected. 

3 simple steps to start receiving the weekly digest:
(1) Register for or log in to your Donor Tracker account.
(2) Click to change your preferences.
(3) Subscribe to the weekly digest and select the countries and areas about which you want to be notified.

What can I do with the Donor Tracker?

  • Download profiles: Every donor profile has a download function that allows you to download, save, and print selected sections of a profile or the profile in its entirety.
  • Save your interests: Once logged in, users can save their interests (specific donors and sectors); these can be found under ‘My Interests’.
  • Save an item: In any section of a donor profile, users can select ‘save this item’; these can be found under ‘My saved files’.
  • Share an item: Users can share to Facebook, Twitter, or a direct email.
  • Coming soon-- compare data: Users can use the Data Comparison Tool to customize ODA variables in different types of charts, allowing for comparison between Donor Tracker countries.

Where does the Donor Tracker data come from?

The Donor Tracker utilizes 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. Data on global health research and development is sourced 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 data for each section or graphic in 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 to allow 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. The use of constant prices means that ODA figures are expressed in the value of a particular reference year and, thus, include adjustments for 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. These national currency volumes are converted into US dollars using the annual average exchange rate according to the OECD. This means our data is directly 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 conversion 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 graphic in 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?

All Donor Profiles are updated annually, following the release of data on Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) (usually in January/February and April/May). Donor Profiles are also updated on a case-by-case basis whenever major changes in policy or the national political environment impacts ODA. For further details on methodology, please refer to our Codebook. Users who register with the Donor Tracker and subscribe to our newsletter will receive notification of major updates.

The weekly policy updates highlight the latest global development news. Users can read all policy updates on the Donor Tracker website or sign up to receive our Weekly Digest, a customizable weekly email showcasing the latest in global development news in the countries or sectors which the user has selected. 

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 2019, 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 strategic and organizational consulting firm dedicated to global human development and social impact, based in Berlin, Germany. The idea of the Donor Tracker emerged from SEEK’s years of experience working in the global development space. We recognized a need, shared by others in the global development community, for a comprehensive, understandable source of information and analysis of major donors’ official development assistance (ODA).

Since 2009, SEEK has supported national governments, multilateral institutions, philanthropic foundations, civil society organizations, and private sector firms in analyzing donor investments, policies, and decision-making structures. SEEK Development draws on this experience and deep content expertise to 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 here.

Can I submit policy updates or event 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:

Isabela Vera (ivera at seekdevelopment dot org) for English and French.
Raimund Zühr (rzuehr at seekdevelopment dot org) for English, German, and Spanish.

Website: www.donortracker.org
Twitter: @DonorTracker
Phone: +49 (0)30 4172 8172