ODA Spending

How much ODA does Australia allocate to education?

Australia was the 11th-largest DAC donor to education in 2022.

Australia’s spending on education represented 8% of total ODA in 2022, comparable to other DAC donors, which spend an average of 9% of ODA on education. Australia's allocation to education has increased since 2020.

How is Australian educational ODA changing?

The government is likely to increase education spending over time. Its revised budget estimated ODA for education will reach AUD499 million ( US$346 million) in FY2022/23.

As is the case across sectors, Australia favors bilateral spending for education.

How does Australia allocate educational ODA?

Bilateral Spending

Australia sees investments in the education of children and young people, particularly girls and children with disabilities, as central to poverty reduction.

Australia is also an important contributor to GPE. Funding for GPE is considered earmarked funding through multilaterals. Recent pledges are listed in the table below.

Multilateral Spending and Commitments

Australia’s core funding to multilaterals made up just 4% of its ODA to education in 2022, well below the DAC average of 28%.

Australia partners with various education-related initiatives focused on researching education systems and quality. These include the RISE, which received US$8 million from Australia between 2016-2020 and ECW, which received US$7 million for 2017 to 2020. In 2021, Australia pledged US$137 million to GPE, but has not made any significant multilateral contributions since.

The table below summarizes Australia’s recent commitments to multilaterals working on education.

Funding & Policy Outlook

What is the current government's outlook on educational ODA?

In the context of COVID-19 response: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response framed education in terms of supporting the return of children in the Indo-Pacific region to school as a means of promoting social cohesion and economic growth.

In practice, education funding decreased to allow increased spending on health and humanitarian issues: Education was the sector hardest hit by the budget cuts necessary to accommodate increased spending on health and humanitarian initiatives related to COVID-19, which were made without increasing overall ODA. Education funding has increased in recent years.

Key Bodies

Related Publications

A new era of development assistance: Key takeaways from the G7 summit

Donor Updates in Brief: 2023 OECD Preliminary Data

December 2023 Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Roundup 

Looking for a cross donor perspective?

Learn more about SEEK's work on education

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