Despite some positive developments, a stronger commitment to partnership and cooperation is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. That effort will require coherent policies, an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels and by all actors and a reinvigorated Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
- In 2016, net ODA from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee of OECD rose by 8.9 per cent in real terms to $142.6 billion, reaching a new peak. ODA as a percentage of member countries’ gross national income was 0.32 per cent, up from 0.30 per cent in 2015. The rise in aid spent on refugees in donor countries boosted the total. But even leaving aside refugee costs, aid rose 7.1 per cent. In 2016, Germany joined five other countries — Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom — in meeting a United Nations target to keep ODA at or above 0.7 per cent of gross national income.
- Remittances sent by international migrants to their home countries in the form of personal transfers and compensation of employees have a profound impact on individual families, communities and countries. In 2016, international remittances totalled $575 billion, 75 per cent ($429 billion) of which went to developing countries, according to the latest estimates.
Information and communications technology
- Fixed-broadband services remain largely unaffordable and unavailable throughout large segments of the developing world. In 2016, fixed-broadband penetration reached 30 per cent in developed regions, but only reached 8.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent in developing regions and the least developed countries, respectively. In developed regions, about 80 per cent of the population is online, compared to 40 per cent in developing regions and 15 per cent in the least developed countries. In 2016, the global rate of Internet user penetration was 12 per cent lower for women than men. The gender gap remains even larger in the least developed countries, at 31 per cent.
- Total ODA for capacity-building and national planning stood at $21 billion in 2015. That amount represented 19 per cent of total aid allocable by sector, a proportion that has been stable since 2010. Of the total, sub-Saharan Africa received $5.6 billion and South and Central Asia received $4.2 billion. The main recipients of assistance were the public administration, environment and energy sectors, which together were provided with a total of $8.2 billion.
- During the past 15 years, developing regions have represented a growing share of international trade, with their world merchandise exports increasing from 31.1 per cent in 2001 to 44.6 per cent in 2015. Moreover, developing regions overall have maintained a trade surplus vis-à-vis the rest of the world. For the least developed countries, however, the share in world merchandise exports decreased from 1.1 per cent to 0.9 per cent from 2011 to 2015. Much of that change can be attributed to the fall in commodity prices.
- In 2015, average tariffs applied by developed countries to imports from the least developed countries remained stable at 0.9 per cent for agricultural products, 6.5 per cent for clothing and 3.2 per cent for textiles. Average tariffs applied by developed countries to imports from developing countries also remained largely unchanged in 2015.
- In 2016, 125 countries engaged in country-led monitoring of development effectiveness, which demonstrates their commitment to strengthening implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and multi-stakeholder partnerships; 54 of those countries reported overall progress towards those commitments. Countries’ own result frameworks were used to define 83 per cent of new interventions supported by donor countries in 2016.
Data, monitoring and accountability
- More than half of the countries or areas (81 of 154 countries) for which information is available were implementing national statistical plans in 2016.
- However, only 37 of 83 countries or areas with pertinent data had national statistical legislation in place that complied with all 10 Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics.
- In 2014, developing countries received $338 million in financial support for statistics. While that amount represented an increase of nearly 2.9 per cent from 2010, it accounted for only 0.18 per cent of total ODA. In order to meet the data requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals, developing countries will need an estimated $1 billion in statistical support annually from domestic and donor sources.
- Population and housing censuses are a primary source of disaggregated data needed to formulate, implement and monitor development policies and programmes. During the 10-year period from 2007 to 2016, 89 per cent of countries or areas around the world conducted at least one population and housing census, while 25 countries or areas did not have such a fundamental data source.
- During the period from 2010 to 2015, more than half (56 per cent) of the world’s countries or areas (138 of 246 countries) had birth registration data that were at least 90 per cent complete. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 8 of 53 countries reached that level of coverage. During the same period, 144 countries or areas, or 59 per cent, had death registration data that were at least 75 per cent complete. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 9 in 53 countries met that standard. Even in countries with functioning civil registration systems, coverage of birth and death