Policy Report

Realizing Agenda 2030: Will donor dollars and country priorities align with global goals?

Date Published

Nov 6, 2017


Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer, Jennifer Turner, Jacob Sims, Matthew DiLorenzo, Rebecca Latourell



Sethi, T., Custer, S., Turner, J., Sims, J., DiLorenzo, M., & Latourell, R. (2017). Realizing Agenda 2030: Will donor dollars and country priorities align with global goals? Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.


This report seeks to uncover the extent to which global goals crowd in international financing, inform domestic policy priorities, and navigate progress toward development outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LICs and MICs). Our report:

  1. Provides a historical perspective on how ODA financing was aligned with the MDGs, and the perceived influence of global goals in shaping domestic priorities
  2. Offers a baseline of ODA financing to the SDGs and a forward-looking perspective in translating past lessons learned from the MDGs era into actionable insights

Using a pilot methodology developed by AidData, we analyze ODA flows during the MDGs era (2000-2013) and approximate baseline financing for each goal prior to the adoption of Agenda 2030 in September 2015. The dataset used in the report, Financing to the SDGs, Version 1.0, provides project-level data on estimated Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 2000 to 2013. In this report, we also draw upon the responses of nearly 7,000 public, private, and civil society leaders from AidData’s novel 2014 Reform Efforts Survey to assess how national-level policymakers perceive the MDGs in light of their domestic reform priorities, and what this may mean for the SDGs.

Funding: This report was made possible through generous financial support received from the Hewlett Foundation and is aligned with AidData’s commitment as an anchor partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. Its findings and conclusions are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of these funders and partners.