Issues to Consider in Assessing International Support for Realizing Children’s Rights
A Reflection on Aid Modalities and Transparency in Reporting, and a Review of Aid for Basic Social Services
The paper reflects on the potential of the OECD-DAC creditor reporting system to systematically capture flows of official development assistance (ODA) in support of realizing children’s rights. The growth in modalities for delivering aid, including sector programmes, sector wide approaches (SWAPs), dedicated funds which encompass public-private partnerships such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as the OECD-DAC commitment to promote harmonization and simplification in the provision of ODA and promote government ownership through general budget support raises challenges to assessing ODA for children. The question also needs asking whether singling out and measuring direct assistance to children is meaningful. The paper goes on to analyse ODA trends for basic social services. It shows that ODA to basic social services as a proportion of total ODA has been on an upward trend during the 1995-2004 period, particularly since 2000, the year in which the Millennium Summit set out the Millennium Agenda including the Millennium Development Goals. It shows that ODA to combat HIV and address AIDS infections has increased rapidly since 2000, but does not alone explain the overall increased aid share for basic social services. The analysis further confirms that social sector programmes and SWAPs are on the rise but still account only for a small portion of total ODA to basic social services although a number of such programmes are targeted specifically to basic services.