Guest post by Paola Palacios and Sandra Patargo, Transparencia Mexicana
The first meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation starts today in Mexico.
This meeting can and should be a window of opportunity for the governments and organisations to commit and comply with specific mechanisms to make all aid flows more transparent and accountable. This should be possible not only at the international level, but nationally. Aid must be published to a common standard and accessible to citizens all around the world.
Many governments have shown a great commitment to transparency of Official Development Assistance (ODA) since meeting in Busan – mainly through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). Over the next two days, debates and sessions of the High Level Meeting will also include these topics. But these are just the first steps of many.
The creation and enforcement of concrete mechanisms to make the aid flows transparent and accountable at the national level have to be addressed openly in the Global Partnership – but also in the discussions for the new Post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals.
As we get closer to 2015, it is difficult to talk about a new development agenda without looking at the challenges many countries face, particularly in terms of transparency and accountability of money which is destined to improve people’s lives. This is important because corruption is one of the main reasons for aid not achieving development goals.
These mechanisms for transparency and accountability could help reduce the risks of these problems.
The mechanisms should be able to: make public the origin of the aid; the sectors and projects it is destined to; the organisations or institutions in charge of receiving and running the projects; the implementation progress; and the results obtained.
Only through access to information and accountability will it be possible to track aid given by governmental aid agencies, multilateral organisations, international development banks, civil society organisations and citizens.
We have been offered an opportunity for aid transparency during this high level meeting, and the expectations are high. But the efforts to make things happen after them should be proportional.
Furthermore, in order to be able to monitor the progress of these mechanisms, specific and homogeneous indicators need to be developed to measure the openness and transparency of the aid flows across countries and across time.
Paola Palacios is the Programme Coordinator at Transparencia Mexicana (a chapter of Transparency International)
Sandra Patargo is a Project Consultant at Transparencia Mexicana (a chapter of Transparency International)