International Funding Trends in Government and Civil Society: A Deep Dive into 2021

Sep 27, 2023
  • Description

When the global pandemic spread worldwide in 2020, many asked how international funding would respond. When the 2020 data became available, we saw that indeed, there had been increases, though much of the increase was due to loans. This was also the case in the governance and civil society sector, with new loans leading to a sharp increase in funding (see last year's brief).

But what about 2021, the first full year of the pandemic? Overall official development assistance (ODA), which comes from select public donors, increased by between 2020 and 2021. Funding related to COVID-19 was about $21 billion. Did governance and civil society funding see an increase too?

In this brief, we cover the overall increase in funding, what types of funding increased the most, and which development partners had the largest changes. We also cover changes in important sub-sectors and some big changes across countries intended to benefit from the funding. Finally, we look at what kinds of organizations received funding. We hope this analysis is useful for funders (and others) to understand where investments are going, which may help with identifying ways to align, fill gaps, partner, advocate, and more.