Principled Aid Index 2020

Working and discussion papers
November 2020
Nilima Gulrajani and Emily Silcock

ODI’s Principled Aid Index ranks bilateral Development Assistance Committee donors by how they use their official development assistance to pursue their long-term national interests in a safer, sustainable and more prosperous world.

This year the Index identifies a decline in donor Principled Aid scores that started before the Covid-19 pandemic. The data shows worsening scores even among donors at the top of the rankings, driven by diminished public spiritedness as aid is allocated in ways that may secure direct short-term commercial and geo-strategic benefits. In keeping with this trend, bilateral development assistance in response to the Covid-19 crisis has been primarily directed towards responding to the immediate health emergency, seeking to globally contain, treat and eliminate the virus.

Our working paper, Principled aid in divided times: harnessing values and interests in donor pandemic response, analyses the 2020 results, and applies the framework of principled nationalism to examine the quality of DAC donor responses in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the methods used to create the Principled Aid Index, including recent updates and details of the indicators tracked, in the accompanying technical paper.

Explore the interactive index and download our suite of infographics.

Corrections and clarifications

Published online: 9 November 2020.

Corrected online: 1 December 2020. The source for Figure 5 in Principled aid in divided times was corrected from: ‘OxCGRT’ to ‘WHO (2020a), WHO (n.d)’.

Corrected online: 4 December 2020. The word ‘flexible’ was added to the following sentence on page 25, and the Note to Figure 5 altered accordingly: ‘Going into the coronavirus crisis, only 14 donors globally provided flexible VC funding beyond their assessed contributions, of which 13 were DAC members (Figure 5).’