This updated analysis fills a gap in knowledge regarding international donor funding to combat IWT. It has collated data on international donor funding committed to combat IWT in Africa and Asia from 2010 to September 2018, which totals over US $2.35 billion and is equivalent to approximately US $261 million per year. Given the current magnitude of the wildlife crime crisis, additional resources over a sustained period will be required to reduce poaching, trafficking, and demand. This analysis provides a baseline to track future donor funding commitments and can support donor coordination efforts. The data collected, database created, online repository, and points of contact established with donors can be used to be further understand funding processes, effectiveness, and impacts and to inform donor strategic planning efforts. This analysis can be built upon in consultation with recipient countries to establish a future vision of how best to optimize the use of IWT financing in terms of priority geographic and thematic areas. A global understanding of existing contributions, trends, and target investment areas can facilitate a sharing of lessons learned.


The following recommendations for taking forward this work are proposed for the consideration of donors and are based on the results of the funding analysis, on feedback received by the donors, and on the WBG team’s experience in conducting this portfolio review. The recommendations fall into two categories:

Enhance donor engagement platform to bring international donors together in periodic virtual/in-person meetings to increase communication and collaboration. The existing donor engagement platform allows community of donors to proactively discuss issues, share information and lessons learned to enhance decision making, establish synergies, and support wider efforts to combat IWT. Data should be exchanged every two years.
Coordinate country or regional investments and project activities with donor representatives, including embassy staff and other relevant agencies, to map ongoing and planned IWT investments, sequence, and de-conflict activities among donors in countries where coordination on wildlife trafficking is limited.
Pilot donor strategic planning activities in one or more countries in Africa or Asia.

Analytical and Technical:

  • Continue to enhance the understanding of investments and identify gaps:
    • Conduct additional analysis to better understand the effectiveness of consumer behavior change interventions to address demand reduction for wildlife and wildlife products. Apply lessons learned from this analysis to scale up investment in IWT communications and awareness interventions (focused on behavior change) as it is key to bring societal changes to reduce demand for these products.
    • Leverage data collected from donors on commitments, trends, and target investment areas to inform strategic efforts that will fill the financing gap of priority geographic/IWT intervention areas. This direct engagement with donors and recipient countries will facilitate collaboration and assessment of actual needs through a joint consultative process and regional meetings to discuss the “future state” of funding requirements.
    • Expand the regional coverage to include other regions, notably Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East.
    • Expand analysis to consider other illegal renewable natural resources trade (I.e. illegal logging and trade in illegal timber, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing)
    • Continue to conduct case studies to capture more-detailed data on projects to assist analysis:
      • Collect quantitative and qualitative information on donor-funded projects, country-specific or regional findings, and unique considerations of key projects that support specific IWT interventions.
      • Compare data collected from donors with investments made by country governments, including in-kind and annual capital, operations, and maintenance budgets.
      • Develop and test ratios/proxy indicators to measure relative “investment effectiveness” across intervention categories.
      • Conduct more in-depth analysis, including an evaluation of issues such as investment impacts, benefit/cost analysis of interventions, or gaps in international donor funding across geographies and interventions.
  • Leverage big data and GIS tools to display the project data in dynamic applications that can be used by donors to enhance decision making. Consider open data processes, tools, and standards available to share data and represent information in a geographic format.
  • Enhance the data collection process by standardizing activity codes, project reporting forms, and data using established standards to streamline data collection and reporting by donors and implementing partners. This will help to improve quality of data available, transparency, and data exchange.