What is TOSSD?

Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) is an international standard for measuring the full array of resources in support of the 2030 Agenda. It is designed to monitor all official resources flowing into developing countries for their sustainable development, but also private resources mobilised through official means. It also measures contributions to International Public Goods – up to now “invisible” in development finance statistics – that help countries reach their Sustainable Development Goals.

Why is TOSSD needed?

TOSSD responds to the need of having a comprehensive measure of the support provided to developing countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Countries from all over the world, and as well as multilateral institutions are now gearing up to track their SDG support. But the risk is real that this will result in a multitude of idiosyncratic, disconnected statistics measuring “apples and oranges”. Shared statistical tools and measures, consensually agreed by a large and diverse group of stakeholders, such as TOSSD, can ensure a coherent, comparable and unified system for tracking SDG-relevant investments. TOSSD can inform strategic planning, identify emerging needs and priorities, and assess progress in matching supply with needs.

The greater focus on sustainable development is not the only change in the financial landscape. This landscape has also changed drastically in at least two other ways: more and new actors emerged (e.g. emerging provider or the private sector), and new financial instruments are used in development co-operation (e.g. guarantees). TOSSD will better reflect this complex landscape than existing international statistics on development finance.

Who is developing TOSSD and how?

The International TOSSD Task Force was created in 2017. It is an inclusive group of experts from provider countries, recipient countries and multilateral organisations.

As the international community called for the development of TOSSD in an “open, inclusive and transparent manner” in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (paragraph 55) in July 2015, the International TOSSD Task Force makes all documents publicly available.

For the development and maintaining the TOSSD methodology, the International TOSSD Task Force consults experts on specific issues for example on peace & security and communicable diseases. The Civil Society community also participates in the Task Force as an observer.

The OECD serves as the Secretariat to the Task Force.

The TOSSD Task Force Secretariat is carrying out a series of country and thematic pilot studies to test the TOSSD methodology and make sure that the framework addresses the information needs of recipient countries.

What are the key milestones?

In 2022, TOSSD was recognised as a data source for indicator 17.3.1 of the SDG global indicator framework to measure development support. 

In 2021, the first comprehensive set of TOSSD data on 2019 activities was published.

Around 90 providers reported their support to sustainable development to the International TOSSD Task Force in the first regular data collection round in 2020. The data is available in the TOSSD database.

In March 2020, the 51st Session of the UN Statistical Commission decided to create a working group to further refine the proposal by the International TOSSD Task Force to integrate TOSSD in the 2020 Comprehensive Review of the SDG indicators, as an additional indicator under Target 17.3 (“Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources”).

The International TOSSD Task Force is represented in the IAEG-SDGs working group by Task Force member countries as well as the Task Force Secretariat, which provides technical and substantive input to the working group.

In 2019, the Task Force published the first version of the TOSSD methodology as the TOSSD Reporting Instructions in June 2019.

In the first half of 2019, the International TOSSD Task Force Secretariat conducted a data survey to further refine the TOSSD Reporting Instructions. The data survey successfully illustrated that TOSSD was indeed useful as a measurement framework for the SDG era.