The question posed in this paper is in whether re-formulated political goals for development assistance lead to reclassifications of individual aid projects, rather than actual reallocations of funds. The study compares variations in Swedish bilateral ODA commitments 1973-2013 on a project-level basis between two sources of development aid statistics: official data from the OECD/DAC Creditor Reporting System (CRS) and data from AidData. The aid projects are categorised by the sector of recipient country’s that it is meant to foster, which allows for an overarching comparison of the committed funds per sector.
- Little evidence was found to support the hypothesis that the sector allocation of Swedish bilateral ODA is inconsistent over time when compared to the assumed more consistent sector allocation provided by AidData.
- Following re-formulated political goals, data from both sources shows more funds and a higher absolute number of projects directed towards the targeted sector, which is the expected result of an actual reprioritisation of funds.
- Future research would be encouraged to conceive of a method more suited to uncovering the answer of reclassification or reprioritisation.
Ulrika Ahrsjö, Master’s Student, Department of Economics, Stockholm University