Statistical Summary 2016-17: explanatory notes

These notes refer to the publication Australia's International Development Assistance, Official Sector Statistical Summary 2016-17.

The majority of the Australian Government's aid program is delivered through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). In Australia, DFAT works in partnership with other government departments (OGD's) to deliver the aid program.

Other government departments include aid activities funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and Australian federal, state and territory government departments and agencies. Generally the aid activities are funded from their own appropriations; however, these organisations also participate in the delivery of many activities funded directly by DFAT.

Australia's International Development Assistance, Official Sector Statistical Summary 2016-17 reports on Official Development Assistance (ODA) statistics of the Australian public sector, whether funded through DFAT or OGD's.

The statistical data in this publication are based on data extracted in March 2018.

Concepts and Definitions

The concepts and definitions used in the Official Sector Statistical Summary 2016-17 are for the most part, consistent with the Statistical Reporting Directives of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic and Development Cooperation (OECD).

Official Development Assistance (ODA)

ODA presented in the Official Sector Statistical Summary 2016-17 complies with Development Assistance Committee (DAC) definitions of ODA.

DAC Purpose Codes

Australia's aid program has been classified according to the DAC purpose code classification. The sector of destination of a contribution should be selected by answering the question "which specific area of the recipient's economic or social structure is the transfer intended to foster" 1.  The sector classification does not refer to the type of goods or services provided by the donor.  

Sources of data

Australian Aid Appropriations

Australian aid appropriated as part of the Australian Aid Program is managed through the Aid Reporting Framework and is presented at a number of different levels.

Official Resource Flows to Developing Countries survey

Australia's aid program also includes aid activities delivered by other public sector organisations, such ACIAR and other government departments (OGD's). These organisations participate in the delivery of aid activities that can be either funded by their own work programs and/or by Australian aid appropriations.

DFAT conducts an Official Resource Flows to Developing Countries Survey (OFDC Survey) to collect 'whole of government' information about Australia's resource flows to developing countries, from all Australian and state and territory government departments and agencies.

Information is collected on aid activities that are funded from the department's administrative and/or departmental appropriations. The OFDC survey requests information on actual expenditure and forward estimates for the next four financial years, on both existing and new activities.

Aid data collected from OGD's do not include key variables such as thematic markers. Therefore, there are a number of tables presented in this publication which exclude OGD's as data is not available.

Collated, this data represents ODA undertaken by OGD's.

Scope of the OFDC Survey

By definition, the OFDC survey includes all Australian government departments and agencies, including ACIAR, Australian federal and state and territory government departments and agencies.

Coverage of the OFDC survey

In the OFDC survey, coverage rules are applied to ensure each activity's expenditure is reported in total, without duplication across agencies. OGD's exclude activities that are funded by, or have expenditure reimbursed by, DFAT or other sources.

Calculating Australia's ODA

Australia's ODA estimates represent the total sum of ODA for the financial year ending June which is administered by the Australian Government.

Accrual accounting in the aid program

The Australian Government moved to an accrual accounting framework in 1999–2000. As part of that framework, Australian Government expenditure, including DFAT expenditure, is calculated on an expenses basis for internal government budgeting and expenditure purposes.

Comparability with other donor countries

Statistics in Official Sector Statistical Summary 2016-17 are stated in Australian dollars (AUD) and reported on an Australian financial year basis. This may restrict, in some instances, a direct comparison between Australia's development cooperation and that of other donor countries. To facilitate comparison between donor countries, Australia reports its development cooperation to the DAC annually, converted to United States dollars (USD) and on a calendar year basis. Fluctuations in exchange rates between the AUD and USD will impact on reported levels of Australian aid across different publications.

Last Updated: 3 May 2018