Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Development cooperation – Supporting sustainable development

Indicator 17.1: Official development assistance as a proportion of gross national income

(Evaluation of the year 2017 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)


Select here what should be displayed in the chart and in the table.

This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The indicator shows public expenditure on official development assistance (ODA) as a percentage of gross national income (GNI). Since 2018, it has been calculated using the grant-equivalent method.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Through their development cooperation, donor countries play a role in reducing global poverty, preventing humanitarian need, safeguarding peace, achieving democracy, making globalisation fair and protecting the environment. To live up to that responsibility, the German Government has committed itself to the target, originally set by the UN General Assembly in 1970, of raising its ODA expenditure to 0.7% of its GNI. For the indicator maintained in the German Sustainable Development Strategy, the aim is to reach that target by the year 2030.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

Last modification of code (data) 2021-06-30: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Last modification of code (text) 2022-04-27: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

The data on which the indicator is based are the statistics on German official development assistance which are compiled by the Federal Statistical Office on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Whether a flow is counted as ODA is determined by guidelines issued by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). ODA comprises public funds spent in order to advance the economic and social development of developing countries. It primarily includes expenditure for financial and technical cooperation with developing countries, humanitarian aid and development-cooperation contributions to multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank or regional development banks. Under certain conditions, spending on peace missions, debt relief and certain items of development expenditure in the donor country − such as tuition costs for students from developing countries, domestic spending on refugees and funding for development-related research − can also be counted as ODA.

The DAC also defines the list of developing countries eligible for ODA. This includes the least developed countries (LDCs) as well as other countries with low and medium per capita GNI. As a rule, the list is updated every three years. Changes in the indicator may therefore be the result of one or more countries being added to or removed from the list.

In 2018, there was a change in the way ODA loans are evaluated, in that the previous net-flows principle was replaced by the grant-equivalent method. In this method, only the grant element of an ODA loan, once calculated, is counted as ODA. The intention behind the new methodology is to make ODA grants and ODA loans comparable.

As calculated using the new method, Germany’s ODA came to EUR 21.6 billion in 2019, slightly higher than the EUR 21.2 billion recorded for 2018. In both years, ODA accounted for 0.61% of Germany’s GNI. For comparison, net ODA spending (using the evaluation method that was standard until 2017) came to around EUR 21.5 billion in 2019. This represented a 1% drop from the previous year’s figure of EUR 21.8 billion.

On the international scale, in 2019 Germany was once again the second-largest contributor in absolute terms, after the United States and ahead of the UK (provisional figures). Germany’s ODA: GNI ration of 0.61% was higher than the average for EU members of the DAC, which was 0.48% according to the provisional figures. Germany had the sixth-highest ODA: GNI ratio among the 29 members of the DAC. According to the provisional figures for 2019, the international target of 0.7% was met by five DAC countries: Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the UK.

In addition to official development cooperation, private funds are also provided by such organisations as churches, foundations and associations.

These chiefly take the form of contributions and donations. This private development cooperation, which does not affect the ODA figures, amounted to EUR 1.36 billion in 2019, the equivalent of a 0.04% share of GNI. Private direct investment in developing countries came to EUR 10.2 billion in 2019, according to the preliminary data.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)


17.1 Official development assistance as a proportion of gross national income


Increase the proportion to 0.7% of gross national income by 2030






Evaluation Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich

Source 1

 Federal Statistical Office


Federal Statistical Office

Source 2

 Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development


Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Source 3

 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development