Philanthropy is increasingly seen as an important actor and partner in planning and implementation of the SDGs. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda goes beyond setting commitments targeting growth of philanthropic giving, and emphasizes elements of collaborative action: transparency, alignment with national development planning and priorities. Collecting data on philanthropy has long been perceived as challenging as systems for monitoring philanthropic investments were often rudimentary in many places in the world.
In 2017, the OECD carried out an unprecendented large-scale Survey on Philanthropy for Development and was able to gather project-level data from 143 foundations worldwide. The data suggested that these foundations provided around USD 8 billion per year for development during 2013-15, mainly for health-related causes in developing countries, with a specific focus on Sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia. Moreover, comparing the survey results with ODA, foundations appear to be key funders of health, population and reproductive health activities in developing countries.
Building on the encouraging results of the Suvey, the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate has been working on data-sharing partnerships with the largest foundations active in development. While the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been reporting its grantmaking activities as well as programme-related investment on a regular basis since 2010, by end 2018 the number of foundations which engaged in regular reporting to the OECD has reached 26, representing a total commitment of USD 7.1 billion in 2017. These data are made publicly available at the activity level and free of charge through the OECD.Stat portal. Some of the main insights from the data are presented below.
These new expanded data on private philanthropy, presented alongside official development finance from bilateral and multilateral providers, makes OECD statistics on development finance a unique source of information on broader development finance, which can in turn help the development community build innovative partnerships for the SDGs.
Private philanthropy for development remains rather modest in comparison to ODA, but is key in the health, population and reproductive health sectors.
India, Nigeria and Pakistan were the most targeted partner countries by private philanthropic foundations.
Health was by far the main sector targeted by foundations, largely driven by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, followed by agriculture, forestry & fishing, government & civil society and education.
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OECD, Webpage on the role of philanthropy in financing for development (OECD): http://www.oecd.org/development/financing-sustainable-development/development-finance-standards/beyond-oda-foundations.htm
OECD, Webpage on International Development Statistics: http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/idsonline.htm
OECD, Creditor Reporting System: Private Philanthropy for Development (database), https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=DV_DCD_PPFD