Thursday, 7 June 2012

OECD dataset on Official Development Assistance (ODA) - purposes and reporting procedures

The Creditor Reporting System (CRS) database contains ODA statistics reported by the members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and some multilateral organisations. It has been tracking this information since 1967, making it the most comprehensive global database on development assistance. It is the authoritative source of information for statistical analysis of international aid flows and cross-country comparisons due to its rigorous data validation procedures and historical coverage.

Members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC)

Features of the CRS database

The Creditor Reporting System (CRS) database includes the following information:

  • Recipient countries (possibility of grouping by continent or by income group) 
  • Donors (grouped into bilateral and multilateral) 
  • Sectors and Sub-sectors
  • Annual commitments 
  • Disbursements flows: grants, loans, ODA, OOF 
  • Channels of delivery
  • Type of aid 
Statistical data are indicated according to the purpose codes. These categories are defined by the so called DAC Working Party on Statistics (WP-STAT). The codes ensure a minimum stability in the statistical series on aid by sector (too frequent changes obstruct analyses) and enable the comparability of members’ reporting (lost if all members do not implement the changes at the same time). The full list of codes used to register and monitor ODA globally is available in the following document downloadable from the OECD website:

Reporting system

The objective of the CRS Aid Activity database is to provide a set of readily available basic data that enables analysis on where aid goes, what purposes it serves and what policies it aims to implement, on a comparable basis for all DAC members. Most commonly Aid Activity data are used to analyse the sectoral and geographical breakdown of aid for selected years and donors or groups of donors. But the database also permits to consider specific policy issues (e.g. tying status of aid) and monitor donors’ compliance with various international recommendations in the field of development co-operation. For this purpose it is extremely important to set out strict reporting procedures for the OECD's DAC member states. The DAC Secretariat assesses the quality of aid activity data each year by verifying both the coverage (completeness) of each donor’s reporting and the conformity of reporting with definitions (so as to ensure the comparability of data between donors). Prior to any statistical analysis, users are advised to examine the “coverage ratios” available on the website.

CRS dataset
 Further information on the Creditor reporting system are accessible here