OECD Forum, Talk Together – Financing for Development – What are we missing?, 2030 Agenda: Financing&Partnerships

In order to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, sovereign states, international organizations, private sector and civil society have to closely work together. Development finance for developing countries has to increase from billions to trillions – stressed Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director of OECD’s Development Cooperation Directorate on the OECD Forum. Official Development Aid (ODA) volumes have to be multiplied by 15 to 20 to achieve the SDG-s. However, in the coming years we shall not only increase the volumes of resources, but also assure their adequate distribution.

Photo: OECD

The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the UN in September 2015. They consist of 17 goals and 169 targets to be taken into consideration by the UN Member States when defining their policies up to 2030.

With 70% of external resources going to developing countries, Official Development Aid (ODA) will continue to be the determinant part of development finance in the future as well. At the same time, its relative importance is decreasing related to other development finance tools. Development finance provided by emerging economies and philanthropic sector like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are playing a significant role. Participation of the private sector and private finance is essential to reach the Sustainable Development Goals as business sector provides 60% of GDP, 80% of capital flows and 90% of workplaces in developing countries.

Neil Gregory, head of thought leadership at the International Finance Corporation emphasized that attractive markets, stable, predictable policy environment, low political and economic risks, transparency and knowledge of local circumstances are essential for private companies to invest in developing countries.

J. Alexander Thier, Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) talked about the concept of "donor resilience index" developed by ODI. The index shows to what extent development finance resources of certain donor countries are addressed to conflict-affected states and to countries with high poverty rate and to what extent they contribute to financing global public goods, the civil society and growth.

Douglas Frantz, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD reported about the OECD’s ongoing work in the field of the ODA modernization, the elaboration of blended finance principles, mobilization of private sector instruments and the concept of the Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD).  

Participants of the panel discussion were all on the opinion that the SDG-s can be the game changers for the planet, however there were some skepticism in the room regarding their financeability. One thing is for sure: mobilizing resources is key to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Anita Obermayer