The escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel is leaving people in Gaza in urgent need of humanitarian support. Please donate now.


A little over two years remain for reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This report is the first ever to track what developing countries are spending on the MDGs. It finds that recent spending increases explain the rapid progress on the MDGs. But the majority of countries are spending much less than they have promised, or than is needed, to achieve the MDGs or their potential successor post-2015 goals – for example, on wages for teachers and nurses, and the maintenance of water facilities. Aid cuts, low implementation rates and low recurrent spending all threaten to reverse existing progress.

This Government Spending Watch report suggests that:

  • developing countries need to make data on MDG spending more accessible to citizens and  to strengthen policies on revenue (taxation) and debt and aid management;
  • donors need to increase innovative financing, such as financial transaction and carbon taxes, and put more aid through developing country budgets;
  • the post-2015 framework should set targets for spending on social protection, gender and sustainable development, including climate change.


The Government Spending Watch website provides comprehensive, up-to-date information on government spending on the MDGs.

Additional details



How to cite this resource

Citation styles vary so we recommend you check what is appropriate for your context.  You may choose to cite Oxfam resources as follows:

Author(s)/Editor(s). (Year of publication). Title and sub-title. Place of publication: name of publisher. DOI (where available). URL

Our FAQs page has some examples of this approach.

Related resources

Here are similar items you might be interested in.

Browse all resources