Norway high up the aid donor table but could improve allocation


13/01/2014 - Norway gave USD 4.8 billion in official development assistance (ODA) in 2012, or 0.93 percent of its gross national income (GNI). That made it the third most-generous member in terms of its ODA/GNI ratio of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which groups major donors. A new DAC review of Norway praised the country’s long and ongoing commitment to high aid targets and noted that its steady economic growth should mean aid volumes would increase in the future.


“Norway focuses on global issues that are important for the country and for the international role it plays, such as peace-building, climate change and global health,” said Vice DAC Chair Ana Paula Fernandes. “This enables Norway to punch above its weight on the global stage, and we commend Norway’s commitment to leading the way in these critical and challenging areas.”


Norway continues to play a valuable role as a niche donor, funnelling its aid into innovative initiatives where it can draw on its expertise in areas like managing the sustainable use of natural resources. However the review found that nearly half the funds Norway has allocated to its flagship initiative on climate and forest since its inception have remained unspent, due to issues with partner countries’ capacity to absorb projects or because the projects are launched before analysis on feasibility and sustainability can be conducted. In taking forward global initiatives, the Committee encouraged Norway to expand further its partnerships with like-minded donors to attract more resources and ensure their long-term sustainability.


The DAC review also said Norway would benefit from developing a clear and evidence-based strategy to guide its bilateral aid decisions. While its development policy remains focused on its goal of reducing poverty, the report noted that an increased focus on thematic initiatives, for example in areas like energy and the environment, has resulted in a slight fall in the level of its bilateral aid resources going to the least developed countries.


The Committee noted that Norway has taken steps since its last review in 2008 to increase transparency in development co-operation, but recommended it develop a communication agenda, beef up its evaluation procedures and act on recommendations.


More information about this and other peer reviews can be found at For more OECD work on development, see: or contact Masato Hayashikawa in the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate; telephone +33 1 45 24 1692.


To receive a copy of the OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review: Norway 2013, journalists can email


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