Progress in Aid Transparency
London, August 2011
(by Ton Zijlstra)
The London based organisation PublishWhatYouFund.org in their latest e-mail newsletter provide an overview of the progress that is being made in making data on international aid available for re-use. This as part of the International Aid Transparency Initiatives, in which donor-countries, receiving countries as well as NGO's and institutions like the World Bank work together to make the entire chain of international aid more transparent and more effective. The end of November will see a high level meeting in Busan, and the following steps that have been and are being made are certain to be discussed there:
From the publishwhatyoufund.org mail:
"The High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness is only three months away. Impressively, in that time one third of global aid flows are set to be published to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) registry. With steady progress from donor governments and organisations throughout the year, we hope to see them meet their targets before the end of the year."
We were delighted to see Madagascar become the 22nd partner country to endorse IATI on August 2nd. Major congratulations also go to Development Initiatives Poverty Research, who on July 14th became the fourth organisation, and first NGO, to publish their data in an IATI compliant format. The World Bank continues to improve access to their data, having launched the World Bank Finances website, stating, “The World Bank recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to the development process and central to achieving the Bank’s mission to alleviate poverty.”
Last month BetterAid submitted a response to the first draft of the Busan Outcome Document, stressing the need for it to reflect key civil society concerns. The response stated that aid information must be “comprehensive, timely, gender-disaggregated and comparable, integrated into public budgets, and fully accessible to all citizens in donor and partner governments.”
A white paper, “Aid Transparency Integration: The Integration of Donor and Recipient Government Financial Systems” was recently published by FreeBalance. The paper emphasises that greater integration between donor and recipient budget systems is crucial to the success of aid transparency, and that integration of different systems could be achieved more quickly and inexpensively than previously thought.
Publish What You Fund submitted a response to the Guardian article “US foreign aid ‘needs greater coherence’ report says” after returning from discussions with high level US officials on the issue of inter-agency coordination."