The role of official Development Assistance (ODA) in Economic Development: the Case of South Korea

Course ID
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Assefa Abebe

The role of official development assistance (ODA) in economic development is on of the points of debate among economists, political scientists, sociologists, politicians, development workers, and business people. Some magnify its merits and others its demerits nevertheless, for more than half a century ODA has been in operation in supporting the foreign policy goals of the developed donor countries and in filling the resource gaps of the recipient developing countries the number of donors and recipients as well as the popularity of ODA is also increasing from time to time.

In this paper, the writer examines the role of ODA in economic development based on the experiences of South Korea and Ethiopia. The paper attempts to address the following questions: does ODA help or hinder economic development? Is ODA effective in solving economic and social problems of the recipient country? What do the experiences of South Korea and Ethiopia show us? What lessons can we draw from the experiences of these two countries?

Up to early 1980s South Korea was one of the recipients of ODA and until 1970s ODA was one of its significant foreign financial sources. Turning to the case of Ethiopia, Ethiopia is one of the low-income countries where ODA plays important role in its economic activities. The paper examines the experiences of these two countries in utilizing foreign development assistance and evaluates the roles played by ODA in the economic development of these countries and draws useful lessons in effective utilization of ODA resources for Ethiopia.

The methodology used in this study is descriptive. As the title implies, a case study research method was used to analyze the role of ODA in economic development of the recipient country by emphasizing on the cases of South Korea and Ethiopia. Regarding the case of Korea, historical research method was employed to describe, investigate, and interpret the utilization of ODA resources with the purpose of making deductions that can be useful for Ethiopia in Ethiopian case, past experience and current ODA utilization of the country was briefly evaluated and where possible compared with the experience of south Korea. This study relies mainly on secondary sources of data/information.

The major finding of the paper is that in the countries where there is a sound economic policy, competent and accountable government institutions, ODA plays catalyst role in promoting economic development and solving economic social problems. This clearly shows that the effectiveness of ODA depends not only on the external factor but also on the internal factors.

Corporate Author: Alemayehu Seyoum … [et al.] (editor)
Publisher: Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: official Development Assistance (ODA)

Secondary Descriptor: Economic Policy – Official Development Assistance (ODA)

Geographic Descriptors: South Korea, Ethiopia
Cataloge Date: 02/27/2013
Broad Subject heading: Economic Development
Call Number: 330.963 PRO 2005
Serial Key Title: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy
Publication catagory: International Conference
Content type: EEA Publication
Volume: III
Publication date: 2013-05-27 23:05:00
Forum or Discussion date: 2013-02-27 15:01:59
Place of publication: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: Book
Current frequency: Annualy
Author: Assefa Abebe

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