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Analysis of and recommendations for covering security relevant expenditures within and outside of official development assistance (ODA)

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Release date: 2006-11

This short study aims to stake out the options for better capturing the implications of the growing conception that development, conflict, security and peace are interdependent for the OECD DAC’s reporting system, within and outside of ODA (Official Development Assistance). It discusses various ideas, approaches and proposals from different OECD member countries, as well as from other sources. The objective is to find an answer to the question as to whether a bold expansion of the ODA definition is justified and justifiable or whether alternatives, such as the creation of an expanded OECD DAC reporting system are preferable. Concrete proposals are outlined and discussed.

Before delving into this analysis, a brief history and practice of ODA is presented. This is followed by an outline of the criteria to bear in mind when discussing changes to the ODA definition. After this, central issues on the new security and development agenda are outlined. In the section that follows, a brief summary is given on the experience of selected member countries with the new agenda. The paper closes with recommendations deduced from the earlier analysis, arguing for a very limited expansion of the ODA definition, as well as the parallel expansion of a particular element in the OECD DAC reporting system. This would serve to capture those expenditures on peace and security instruments capable of furthering economic development and welfare that are not presently considered a part of ODA.