France

France provided USD$ 9.2 billion in Overseas Development Assistance, representing 0.37% of Gross National Income in 2015. In 2011, France committed to make its development aid finances and project information open and accessible to all by December 2015. This commitment was made as part of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. Disappointingly, this was not achieved.

Key French government agencies that disburse development aid ranked from ‘fair’ (the French Development Agency, AFD) to ‘very poor’ (the Ministry of Economy, MINEFI) in the 2016 Aid Transparency Index. Alongside Busan, France has a number of national, regional and international commitments to aid transparency including:

  • 2016 International Aid Transparency Initiative
    In December 2016, at the Open Government Partnership summit in Paris, the French Development Agency – AFD announced that they would join IATI. This announcement was a significant step forward for AFD and France with regards to their transparency commitments.
  • 2015 International Open Data Charter
    France endorsed the Open Data Charter in 2015. It has been developed and endorsed by governments, multilateral organisations, civil society and the private sector.
  • 2014 Open Government Partnership
    France is co-Chair of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Their OGP action plan commits France to improving transparency across the whole of government.
  • 2014 Orientation and Programming law (LOP)
    France included aid transparency as part of its 2014 LOP on Development and International Solidarity.
  • 2013 G7 Commitment
    Through the Lough Erne Communique, G7 member states committed to an Open Data Charter, which includes making government data open by default. They also recognised the importance of open aid data for accountability and renewed the commitment made in 2011 to implement the Busan Common Standard on Aid Transparency.
  • 2011 EU Transparency Guarantee
    In November 2011, the European Union’s (EU) Foreign Affairs Council adopted a common position for Busan, incorporating an EU Transparency Guarantee. EU Institutions and member states agreed to publicly disclose all aid information in a common, standard format so that it can be accessed, shared and published.

Agencies

French Development Agency - AFD

AFD is a public agency and a development bank, which manages the majority of French bilateral assistance. They have made significant and impressive progress in the Aid Transparency Index since 2013, moving from ‘very poor’ to ‘fair’ in 2016.

Publish What You Fund welcomes AFD’s commitment to transparency and now calls on them to:

  • Increase the frequency of its IATI publication to at least quarterly, if not monthly.
  • Publish a complete organisation file, including forward-looking budgets for three years ahead.
  • Improve the quality of its IATI publication so that it is comprehensive and consistent for evaluations and tenders, results and impact appraisals. In particular, it should publish disaggregated budgetary data.

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Development - MAEDI

MAEDI is responsible for setting France’s development cooperation policy. It manages France’s Solidarity Funds, projects relating to humanitarian and food aid, and funds dedicated to democratic governance. Following an improvement in the 2014 Index, MAEDI’s efforts for transparency have disappointingly since declined, with a drop in performance category to ‘poor’ in 2016.

We call on MAEDI to:

  • Re-prioritise its IATI publication and focus on publishing more comprehensively in the Standard, before extending coverage to other priority countries and increase the frequency of its publication.
  • Publish a complete organisation file to the IATI Registry, including forward-looking budgets for at least three years ahead.
  • Adapt its information systems and processes to support automated and timely publication of high quality data in the IATI Standard.
  • They should work closely with the AFD, MINEFI and the IATI Secretariat to improve publication.

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Ministry of Economy and Finance - MINEFI

MINEFI is responsible for managing a significant proportion of France’s ODA, particularly expenditure relating to debt relief and contributions to multi-laterals and International Finance Institutions. MINEFI does not publish to IATI and it is currently the only French agency yet to begin implementing France’s commitments to do so. In the 2016 Index they ranked in the ‘very poor’ performance category.

We call on MINEFI to:

  • Work with MAEDI, AFD and the IATI Secretariat to urgently begin publication to the IATI Registry.
  • Publish a complete organisation file to the IATI Registry including forward-looking budgets for at least three years ahead.
  • Adapt its information systems and processes to support automated and timely publication of high quality data in the IATI Standard.

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Contact

Catherine Turner

Catherine Turner

Director of Advocacy

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