34. Proportion of total bilateral, sector-allocable ODA of OECD/DAC donors to basic social services (basic education, primary health care, nutrition, safe water and sanitation)




Official development assistance (ODA) comprises grants or loans to developing countries and territories on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) list of aid recipients that are undertaken by the official sector with promotion of economic development and welfare as the main objective and at concessional financial terms (if a loan, having a grant element of at least 25 percent). Technical cooperation is included. Grants, loans and credits for military purposes are excluded. Also excluded are aid to more advanced developing and transition countries as determined by the DAC. Bilateral official development assistance is from one country to another.


Basic education comprises primary education, basic life skills for youth and adults and early childhood education. Primary health care includes basic health care, basic health infrastructure, basic nutrition, infectious disease control, health education and health personnel development. (For safe water and sanitation, see indicators 30 and 31.)


Goal/targets addressed

Goal 8. Develop a global partnership for development.

Target 12. Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system. Includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction—both nationally and internationally.

Target 13. Address the special needs of the least developed countries. Includes: tariff and quota-free access for least developed countries’ exports; enhanced programme of debt relief for HIPCs and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous ODA for countries committed to poverty reduction.

Target 14. Address the special needs of landlocked countries and small island developing States (through the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and the outcome of the twenty-second special session of the General Assembly).

Target 15. Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term.



The World Summit on Social Development at Copenhagen in 1995 suggested the possibility of “mutual commitment between interested developed and developing country partners to allocate, on average, 20 percent of ODA and 20 percent of the national budget, respectively, to basic social programmes”. These programmes comprise basic education, basic health, population and reproductive health programmes, and poverty-focused water and sanitation projects.


Data collection and source

Compiled by OECD/DAC.



Development Cooperation Report, annual, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/Development Assistance Committee (www.oecd.org/dac).

International Development Statistics (CD-ROM), (technical notes, glossary and table of aid recipients), annual, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/Development Assistance Committee (www.oecd.org/dac).


Periodicity of measurement



Comments and limitations

Aid to water supply and sanitation is defined as part of basic social services only if poverty focused.



Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/Development Assistance Committee.