11 October 2018: Development Initiatives has presented an agenda to better target aid to support the 2030 Agenda’s ambitions, by focusing on the poorest people first. The publication titled, ‘Investments to End Poverty: Meeting the Financing Challenge to Leave No One Behind,’ argues that meeting financing commitments and targeting those most at risk of falling behind is critical in delivering sustainable development for all.
Business as usual means leaving people behind, the authors argue. As an illustration, they note that despite the fact that poverty was halved during the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era, many other people have made little or no progress away from poverty. Under a business as usual scenario, the report predicts that the gap between the poorest people and everyone else will increase, with the poorest falling further behind everyone else as income gaps grow, consumption floors remain stagnant for the poorest people, and investment in social protection and human capital is limited. Consequently, the report calls for urgent action to change this trajectory by investing in people’s well-being and economic potential, with greater focus on education, health and social protection.
The report highlights that development assistance (ODA) is a critical source of external financing for development, particularly for the people and places most at risk of being behind. If donors meet their commitment to contribute 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) as ODA, the report argues an extra US$1.5 trillion ODA by 2030 is possible. The report recommends a number of other actions to change from a business as usual trajectory by utilizing this additional ODA. These actions include: redirecting ODA towards the people furthest behind and investing in areas that have the greatest impact on poverty; and identifying synergies between different resources to maximize their development impact.
The report further recommends prioritizing data that countries need to tackle poverty and investing in building country capacity to use such data to effectively identify the people and places most at risk and the resources available to them. For example, the report calls for greater investment in systems to ensure that everyone is counted and to disaggregate data by income, gender, geographic location, age and disability.
The report is the third in a series that Development Initiatives launched in 2013 in advance of the 2030 Agenda to provide evidence-based analysis on the impact of aid on poverty, resource mobilization and effective use of resources and a balance between promoting growth and direct assistance to people in poverty. The second report focused on potential resources available to finance the SDGs. [DI press release] [Report webpage] [Publication: Investments to End Poverty] [Executive Summary]