Donor Government Assistance for Family Planning in 2012

Bilateral and multilateral data on donor government assistance for FP in low- and middle-income countries were collected from multiple sources.  The research team collected bilateral assistance data directly for 10 governments: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States during the first half of 2013.  Data represent the fiscal year 2012 period for all governments except for Denmark and Germany (data are from FY/CY 2011).  Direct data collection from these donors was desirable because they represent the preponderance of donor government assistance for family planning and the latest official statistics – from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System (CRS) (see: – are from 2011 and do not include all forms of international assistance (e.g., funding to countries such as Russia and the Baltic States that are no longer included in the CRS database).  In addition, the CRS data may not include certain funding streams provided by donors, such as FP components of mixed-purpose grants to non-governmental organizations.   Where donor governments were members of the European Union (EU), the research team ensured that no double-counting of funds occurred between EU Member State reported amounts and EC reported amounts for international FP assistance. Data for all other OECD DAC member governments – Austria, Belgium, the European Union, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland – who collectively accounted for less than 2 percent of bilateral family planning disbursements, were obtained from the OECD CRS and are from calendar year 2011.

For purposes of this analysis, funding was counted as family planning if it met the OECD CRS purpose code definition: “Family planning services including counselling; information, education and communication (IEC) activities; delivery of contraceptives; capacity building and training.” In addition, family-planning-related activities funded in the context of other official development assistance sectors (e.g. education, civil society) are reflected in this analysis. Project-level data were reviewed for Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom to determine whether all or a portion of the funding could be counted as family planning. Family-planning-specific funding totals for Australia and the United States were obtained through direct communications with government representatives. Funding attributed to the United Kingdom represents budgeted disbursements. Funding totals presented in this analysis should be considered preliminary estimates approved by representatives of the 10 donor governments who were contacted directly.

It was difficult in some cases to disaggregate bilateral family planning funding from broader reproductive and maternal health totals, as the two are sometimes represented as integrated totals. In addition, family-planning-related activities funded in the context of other official development assistance sectors (e.g. education, civil society) have in the past remained largely unidentified.  For purposes of this analysis, we worked closely with the largest donors to family planning to identify such family-planning-specific funding where possible (see Annex for detailed data table).

Bilateral funding is defined as any earmarked (FP-designated) amount. U.S. bilateral “enacted” data, or “commitments”, correspond to amounts appropriated for the 2012 fiscal year. UNFPA contributions from all governments correspond to amounts received during the 2012 calendar year, regardless of which contributor’s fiscal year such disbursements pertain to.

With some exceptions, bilateral assistance data were collected for disbursements. A disbursement is the actual release of funds to, or the purchase of goods or services for, a recipient.  Disbursements in any given year may include disbursements of funds committed in prior years and in some cases, not all funds committed during a government fiscal year are disbursed in that year. In addition, a disbursement by a government does not necessarily mean that the funds were provided to a country or other intended end-user. Enacted amounts represent budgetary decisions that funding will be provided, regardless of the time at which actual outlays, or disbursements, occur. In recent years, most governments have converted to cash accounting frameworks, and present budgets for legislative approval accordingly; in such cases, disbursements were used as a proxy for enacted amounts.  In the U.S. case, both enacted and disbursement data were available for analysis.

UNFPA core contributions were obtained from United Nations Executive Board documents; however, we were unable to determine what share of these core contributions are attributable to family planning specifically (since such funding is also used to support broader reproductive health and related efforts). To date, UNFPA family planning activities have often been reported as part of broader categories, including reproductive health and maternal and child health, as well as part of larger multisectoral efforts, including those in education, human rights, and capacity building.  It is expected that such disaggregation will be available in the future and UNFPA reports that it is currently working to develop such a methodology for doing so. Other than contributions provided by governments to UNFPA, un-earmarked general contributions to United Nations entities, most of which are membership contributions set by treaty or other formal agreement (e.g., the World Bank’s International Development Association or United Nations country membership assessments), are not identified as part of a donor government’s FP assistance even if the multilateral organization in turn directs some of these funds to FP.  Rather, these would be considered as FP funding provided by the multilateral organization, as in the case of the World Bank’s efforts, and are not considered for purposes of this report.

The fiscal year period varies by country.  The U.S. fiscal year runs from October 1-September 30. The Australian fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30.  The fiscal years for Canada and the U.K. are April 1-March 31.  Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden use the calendar year.  The OECD uses the calendar year, so data collected from the CRS for other donor governments reflect January 1-December 31. Most UN agencies use the calendar year and their budgets are biennial.

All data are expressed in US dollars (USD).  Where data were provided by governments in their currencies, they were adjusted by average daily exchange rates to obtain a USD equivalent, based on foreign exchange rate historical data available from the U.S. Federal Reserve (see:  Data obtained from UNFPA were already adjusted by UNFPA to represent a USD equivalent based on date of receipts.

Report Appendix

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.