Background on ODA

What is ODA?

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), is a group of 29 donors, including the UK who define the Official Development Assistance (ODA) as the internationally agreed criteria for funding provided to developing countries or multilateral institutions to fight poverty and promote development. The main objective of ODA activities must be the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries.

Funding for ODA activities must:

  • Be provided to countries and territories on the DAC list
  • Be provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies; and
  • Be concessional (i.e. grants and soft loans) and administered with the objective of promoting the economic development and welfare of developing countries.

For detailed information on ODA and its origins see:

Which countries are eligible for ODA?

Only those countries that are on the OECD DAC list are eligible to receive ODA funding. OECD, based on per capita GNI, compiles the DAC list. The list is up-dated every three years. If per capita income in a country increases and remains high, that country may move up from one income category of the list to the next and eventually graduate from it (as for example Chile, Seychelles and Uruguay graduated in 2018). Equally, if per capita income in a country falls then they will be added to the list (as South Sudan in 2011).

It is important to note that just because work in a particular country has been either eligible or ineligible in the past, this does not mean that will continue to be the case.

How do I know if my application is ODA-eligible?

Many different delivery partners provide ODA funding such as the UKRI GCRF schemes, NIHR RIGHT call and the Newton Fund. In order to be eligible to receive ODA funding, applications must demonstrate how they meet ODA compliance criteria. Somewhere within the application, there will be a section or an attachment that will ask for justification on how the project will meet ODA compliance. Please contact us for further information on