Features & Analysis

How transparent is world’s aid?


The need for a greater transparency on how the aid spreads around the world has been long debated.  A new index (the pilot index was launched last year) has been developed to rank every major aid donor for their openness, on a wide set of criteria.

The report published under Publish What You Fund’ umbrella shows that some organizations have made big improvements this year regarding their funding. The campaign Publish What You Fund was launched at the 2008 Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness by a coalition of governance, aid effectiveness and access to information organizations.

Aid is becoming more transparent, but progress is slow and uneven. This report finds that aid can be made much more transparent without great difficulty, when political commitment is translated into effective implementation. Transparent aid means information being shared openly in a timely, comprehensive, comparable and accessible way. The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) offers a common standard for publishing aid information that satisfies all of these elements. Only then can aid and related development activities be made truly effective, efficient and accountable.” (2012 Aid Transparency Index)

How IATI works? Donors must publish information to IATI, whose implementation is now under way, with at least initial publication by donors accounting for 43% of Official Development Finance (ODF). At the moment, there are 33 signatory donors committed to publishing to its common standard which account for more than 75% of ODF. Besides ODF, there are more than 30 civil society organizations (CSOs) that are publishing to the IATI Registry. For more details on IATI and Aid Transparency Index visit:  http://www.publishwhatyoufund.org

The 2012 Index shows that this year two donors are in the good category: the UK’s Department for International Development and the World Bank-IDA/IBRD. At the same time, USAID  has scored some substantial improvements compared to last year by beginning to publish more information about its activities, is shown by the report.

However, one of the conclusions drawn by the report on 2012 Index is that the progress made on aid transparency is still modest.

Download the full data report here: 2012 Aid Transparency Index



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