Development Partner Profile

South Africa Download PDF


This development partner profile showcases different dimensions of performance and the distribution of development finance of South Africa. The information below was compiled from two sources: AidData's 2014 Reform Efforts Survey and 2004-2013 Core Database. The 2014 Reform Efforts Survey asked public, private, and civil society leaders in 126 low- and middle-income countries questions about the most pressing problems they face, their top policy priorities, and how aid agencies can partner with them most effectively. Leaders evaluated the degree to which South Africa's influenced the policy agenda (n=140), provided useful advice (n=85), and how helpful this development partner was in implementation (n=19). The 2004-2013 Core Database represents the most comprehensive dataset tracking international development finance.

Where does South Africa's Development Finance go?

Top Partner Countries
(in millions USD by % of development finance)

  1. DRC (35%, 69.6)
  2. Zimbabwe (20%, 40)
  3. Guinea (14%, 27.8)
  4. Lesotho (6%, 12.7)
  5. Comoros (3%, 6.7)
  6. Liberia (3%, 6.2)
  7. Sudan (3%, 6.1)
  8. Uganda (2%, 4.8)
  9. Seychelles (2%, 4.6)
  10. Burundi (2%, 4.3)

Source: AidData's 2004-2013 Core Database

Distribution of South Africa's Development Finance, 2004-2013
(millions of USD)

Source: AidData's 2004-2013 Core Database

In which countries is South Africa performing the best?

0 = not at all influential
5 = extremely influential

1 = not at all useful
5 = extremely useful

* The usefulness of advice scale ranged from 1 to 5.

Helpful in implementation

Insufficient data

0 = not at all helpful
5 = extremely helpful

Source: AidData's 2014 Reform Efforts Survey, Q14, Q21, Q25

How do in-country stakeholders perceive South Africa's performance?


Survey respondents gave an average score of 1.6 to South Africa's agenda-setting influence, 0.3 below the average country.


Survey respondents gave a score of 3.0 to South Africa's usefulness of advice.

*The usefulness of advice scale ranged from 1 to 5.


Survey respondents gave a score of 2.5 to South Africa's helpfulness in policy reform implementation.

Source: AidData's 2014 Reform Efforts Survey, Q14, Q21, Q25

South Africa's Useful Advice, Amount of Development Finance, and Influence by Policy Area

Policy Domain

Economic policy

Social and environmental policy

Governance policy

Agenda-setting influence

0= no influence at all
5= maximum influence

Governance: land, decentralization, anti-corruption & transparency, democracy, public administration, justice & security, tax, customs, and public expenditure management
Economic: macroeconomic management, trade, business regulatory environment, investment, labor, energy & mining, infrastructure, and finance, credit & banking
Environment & Social: health, education, family & gender, social protection & welfare, environmental protection, and agriculture & rural development

** The amount of development finance is log-transformed to account for skewed distribution of aid across sectors.

Source: AidData's 2004-2013 Core Database and 2014 Reform Efforts Survey, Q14, Q21

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell and Bradley Parks. 2015. Listening to Leaders: Which Development Partners Do They Prefer and Why? Williamsburg, VA: AidData.