FE43DF93-13CD-493E-BEF2-A77A9E7D6926 Copenhagen Consensus Center Logo
Copenhagen Consensus Center

Illicit Financial Flows: What's the smartest SDG target?

Did you know that Africa has has been a net creditor to the world over the period 1980-2009 to the tune of up to $1.4 trillion?

When we think about development priorities, we think of disease, nutrition and education, but actually IFF is a big player. 20 sub-Saharan Africa countries have lost more than 10% of their GDPs every year since 1980 to illicit financial flows. Africa as a whole is estimated to be losing 3.4% of GDP or $76bn each year. 

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the key is to make all beneficial ownership public. For every dollar spent the world can gain $49.
One of the academic perspective papers also proposes this target: "reduce illicit financial flows related to trade mis-invoicing by 50%," estimating a benefit of $26 for every dollar spent.

You can read all the papers on illicit financial flows here and download the one page PDF here.

The smartest targets for the post-2015 development agenda

What are the smartest targets for the post-2015 development agenda?

In a world of limited resources, we can’t do everything, but how should we prioritize? The Copenhagen Consensus Center provides information on which targets will do the most social good relative to their costs. The final decision on choosing goals will definitely rest on a number of factors, not just economics – but knowing the costs and benefits provides an important piece of information.

The Post-2015 Consensus brought together, renowned experts from the UN, NGO and private sectors with 60 teams of economists to produced 100+ research papers to establish the most effective targets for the post-2015 development agenda within 22 core issue areas: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conflict & Violence, Data for Development, Education, Energy, Food Security, Gender Equality, Governance & Institutions, Health: Chronic Diseases, Health: Health Systems, Health: Infant Mortality & Maternal Health, Health: Infectious Diseases, Infrastructure, Illicit Financial Flows, Nutrition, Population & Demography, Poverty, Science & Technology, Trade, and Water & Sanitation

An Expert Panel including two Nobel Laureates has reviewed all of this research and identified 19 targets that represent the best value-for-money in development over the period 2016 to 2030.

Only have three minutes? Watch our introduction video to the Post-2015 Consensus project.


Making prioritization a factor in the post-2015 debate

An overview of Copenhagen Consensus' ground-breaking research which is shaping the thinking for the 193 governments about to prioritize the smartest development goals for 2016-2030. If you've just read the article in The Economist you might be interested in exploring more about our project, and the research we've undertaken so we have put together an online supplement with more in-depth information.