Making Aid Transparent

The following press release is taken from Publish What You Fund

WASHINGTON – Global development flows are on a slow path to transparency, but most aid information is still not published.

Publish What You Fund’s 2012 Aid Transparency Index, released today, finds donor transparency is on the rise but continues to fall short of best practice. This is particularly disappointing at a time when transparency is critical to ensuring confidence in aid spending.

The UK Department for International Development and the World Bank became the first two organisations ever to receive a ‘good’ rating. Six organisations – including the Asian Development Bank – also rose in 2012 to join nine others in the ‘fair’ category.

Unfortunately, the ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ groups still contain nearly half of all organisations surveyed – including some of the world’s most prominent donors, such as France and Switzerland.

The report urges donors to sign and implement the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which offers a global common standard for publishing aid information. Aid information published to this standard is shared openly in a timely, comprehensive, comparable and accessible way.

David Hall-Matthews, Director of Publish What You Fund, said:

“There is too little readily available information about aid, which undermines the efforts of those who both give and receive it. Transparency is essential if aid is to truly deliver on its promise.

“That is why it is so disappointing to see that many of the world’s largest donors have not delivered on their promises. For aid to be fully transparent, donors must publish information to IATI.Only then can development activities be made truly effective, efficient and accountable”

The 16 top ranking organisations in the Index have all signed IATI, including the United States, represented in the top ten by the Millennium Challenge Corporation. And some of the biggest increases in scores can be attributed to donors, such as Australia, publishing information via IATI.

Produced annually, the Index ranks 72 aid organisations across 43 different indicators. Organisations range from traditional multilateral and bilateral donors to private foundations, climate finance and development finance institutions.

A combination of political will, pressure from civil society and technological progress has seen this year’s average score rise to 41 per cent – a modest 7 percentage point rise from 2011.