Export Promotion or Development Policy? A Comparative Analysis of Soft Loan Policies in Austria, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands

Added 01 Apr 2014
This report by Eurodad partner ÖFSE presents the results of a research project on the development orientation of soft loans. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the historical evolution and institutional structure of tied aid as well as a comparative assessment of soft loan policies of four European Donor countries: Austria, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. Its conclusions are both relevant for the current discussion on Financing for Development and the debate on the future of ODA.

The study compares the selected soft loan programs with regard to the respective institutional set-up, strategic orientation and implementation patterns. The comparison revealed a marked heterogeneity in the soft loan landscape. In almost all of the dimensions analysed, the programs show considerable differences. In addition, the study shows that development policy aspects are anchored in the programs to different degrees. 

The report derives three general conclusions on the characteristics of the field of soft loan financing: 
  • the pronounced institutional heterogeneity surrounding the various instruments,
  • the hybrid nature of the programs, and
  • the rather conventional understanding of development in which they are grounded.
To read the full report, click here