The Task Force on Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD), was established following the Addis Ababa Action Agenda commitment to develop a new measure and reporting system to track official flows beyond ODA. The Task Force met for a fourth time in Brussels on 29-30 May 2018 and then hosted a consultation with the DAC CSO Reference Group on 31 May 2018. This was the first consultation of this type between the Task Force and the DAC-CSO Reference Group.
The meeting offered the opportunity for DAC -CSO Reference Group to provide some feedback on the work of the Task Force, and in particular on the document Possible emerging excerpts of TOSSD Reporting Instructions. The consultation made for an interesting and interactive exchange with CSOs presenting thoughts and the task force members attempting to respond and rationalise different aspects of their work. The Task Force also agreed to further review the written feedback the DAC-CSO Reference group provided with written responses of both general and specific after the Ghana meeting of the taskforce in September/October. The task force indicated it would meet three more times with a view to finalising the measure and reporting system by fall 2019.
The consultation sets a good precedent for engagement with a OECD-DAC working structure. The body clarified that while the reporting process will collect data on “mobilised private finance” the headline TOSSD figure will only include official flows.
On the other hand, as the TOSSD figure will only include public resources, which are ostensibly already measured by different agencies or ministries. it appears that the effort will simply gather these figures and try to apply SDG lens to draw up an aggregate figure.
The fact that mobilised private resources are not included is something of a double-edged sword in this respect. Now since the TOSSD figure will only cover public resources including ODA it carries the potential risk of overshadowing ODA figures/commitments. There will be an irresistible political temptation, particularly for low performing donors on ODA, to use the TOSSD aggregate and further abandon the ODA targets and argue that TOSSD includes ODA.
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