Accessibility statement

ODA Compliance

What is ODA?

What is ODA?

Official Development Assistance (ODA) – commonly known as overseas aid – is when
support, expertise or finance is supplied by one government to help the people of another
Official Development Assistance (ODA)-funded research activity focuses on outcomes that
promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries included on an official list
(OECD)’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). It is administered with the promotion
of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective.
The UK's ODA commitment is monitored by the OECD.
Further information:

Official Development Assistance - definition and coverage

The OECD Development Assistance Committee defines ODA as “those flows to countries
and territories on the DAC List of ODA Recipients * and to multilateral institutions which are:
1. provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies; and
2. each transaction of which:
  • is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective; and
  • is concessional in character and conveys a grant element of at least 25% (calculated at a rate of discount of 10%).”

* The DAC list is revised every three years. Countries that have exceeded the high-income threshold for three consecutive years at the time of the review are removed.

All ODA awards made by the delivery partners (e.g. the Research Councils, Innovate UK, British Council) via funding streams such as GCRF and the Newton Fund automatically comply with #1 and the second bullet point of #2.

Applicants need to ensure that the first bullet of #2 is met by the proposal they are writing and the resultant activity.

Is my project ODA compliant?

Is my project ODA compliant?

Applicants should ensure they have considered and observed the available advice and guidance on ODA eligibility and writing funding applications:

Proposals must make it clear that the research project’s primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of a developing country or countries. Any benefit to the UK or other developed countries has to be the secondary consideration and should not lead to a project being funded if it doesn’t primarily deliver the development objective.

For most applications, an ODA Compliance Statement will be required.

Example statements can be requested from Research Grants and Contracts Office: general enquiries ext 4416, email

Any queries about the ODA eligibility of projects should be directed to