An Index of Donor Performance

51 Pages Posted: 2 May 2007

See all articles by David Roodman

David Roodman

Center for Global Development

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2006


The Commitment to Development Index of the Center for Global Development ranks the world's 21 richest countries on the "development-friendliness" of their policies. It is revised and updated annually.

This working paper includes revisions from the methodology used to develop the 2004 CDI. The component on foreign assistance combines quantitative and qualitative measures of official aid, and of fiscal policies that support private charitable giving. The quantitative measure uses a net transfers concept, as distinct from the net flows concept in the net Official Development Assistance measure of the Development Assistance Committee. The qualitative factors are: a penalty for tying aid; a discounting system that favors aid to poorer, better-governed recipients; and a penalty for "project proliferation." The charitable giving measure is based on an estimate of the share of observed private giving to developing countries that is attributable to a) lower overall taxes or b) specific tax incentives for giving. Despite the adjustments, overall results are dominated by differences in quantity of official aid given. This is because while there is a seven-fold range in net concessional transfers/GDP among the scored countries, variation in overall aid quality across donors appears far lower, and private giving is generally small.

Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden score highest while the largest donors in absolute terms, the United States and Japan, rank at or near the bottom. Standings by the 2005 methodology have been relatively stable since 1995.

Keywords: microfinance

JEL Classification: O16

Suggested Citation

Roodman, David, An Index of Donor Performance (November 2006). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 67. Available at SSRN: or

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