Official Development Assistance (ODA). According to a definition by the Development Assistance Commission of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD DAC), Official Development Assistance comprises grants and loans that are provided by government agencies or international organizations to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries. In order for loans to qualify as ODA, they need to comprise a grant element of at least 25% of the total amount. Moreover, it is also required that a partner country benefitting from assistance is in the OECD DAC list of ODA recipients.
Development Assistance is a very broad term, which refers to many forms of assistance (ways of influencing changes in a country benefiting from the assistance). In the special jargon, 10 different forms can be distinguished, and in the discussion over the next generation of development goals (the so called post-Busan process) there are attempts to describe new forms.
Different types of development assistance described in literature
International aid – the aid provided to the beneficiaries of the third country, that is another country and its inhabitants
Project aid – the aid provided for a specific purpose (training, erecting a building, buying equipment)
Programme aid – the aid provided in the frame of a specific sector to solve a broader problem (for instance support of the reform in a given sector of economy or an element in a given sector, for instance education or health).
Budget support – it's a form of supporting general development policy/strategy of a given country consisting in transferring funds directly to the budget of a given country and spent by means of its national system of public funds.
Sector budget support – it’s a combination of programme aid and budget support, in which assistance is provided for realizing specific reform in a given sector through transferring funds to the budget of the partner country
Food aid – the aid consisting in giving food to the countries which inhabitants have problems with access to food.
Tied aid – the aid which may be used by the country of the aid beneficiary to buy goods or services of the donor’s country
Technical assistance – programme or project assistance consisting of using the experience and knowledge (clerks, doctors, engineers) of the citizens of the donor’s country by supporting the development of the partner country.
Concessional loans – a support for the partner country through giving concessional financial help. It may also be an element of tied help, having the form of a tied credit.
More information about the definition of the Official Development Assistance and the discussion concerning development assistance can be found on the website of the Development Assistance Commission of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: http://www.oecd.org/dac/aid-architecture/.
A distinctive characteristic of Poland’s approach to development is a deep conviction, stemming from the period of social and economic transformation, that development and creating a prosperous society are impossible without democratizing public life. Consequently, Poland’s development cooperation focuses on two priority areas of support: democracy and human rights and system transformation.
Depending on the way of realizing assistance, we can distinguish bilateral and multilateral assistance. Bilateral aid is addressed directly to institutions, organizations and persons in a partner country. Multilateral aid is extended through international institutions.
We encourage you to become familiar with other elements of the Polish development assistance programme “Polish aid” described in the definition of the development assistance introduced by the act of 16 September 2011: humanitarian aid and global education.