Doing good and doing well: A growing share of aid is spent by private firms, not charities

But they need to diversify

Though not all countries break down aid spending according to the type of contractor used, data from those that do suggest that a growing share of aid is funnelled, not through charities or non-profit foundations, but through consultancies and other private-sector contractors that profit from the work. Nearly a quarter of USAID spending in 2016 went to for-profit firms, a share that was two-thirds higher than in 2008. Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) counts its spending slightly differently: in 2015-16, 22% of bilateral spending (as opposed to money that it paid to multilateral organisations such as the UN) went to contractors, most of them for-profit companies, up from 12% five years earlier.