DT Insights

What does the present tell us about where Europe's development aid is going?

In the wake of Brexit and the rise of right-wing populism, we analyzed recent funding and political trends in major European donor countries to give a sense of where both might be headed in the future. Drawing on data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, we uncovered the following trends: 

  • ODA has increased overall since 2012, though mostly through costs incurred from hosting refugees in Europe.
  • Funding for humanitarian assistance has substantially increased in response to multiple crises and conflicts, including the war in Syria.
  • Health ODA remains largely flat and is increasingly focused on security-related issues
  • More ODA is channeled towards clean energy and climate-related initiatives

We also identified the following emerging opportunities to better leverage official development assistance (ODA) and ensure levels are maintained:

  • Increased attention for and investment in global development provides an opportunity to mobilize funding
  • Europe may provide back-up for areas that may fall short of continued global support
  • 2017 elections may impact the future direction of European ODA and should be monitored