DATA REVOLUTION TURNING INTO DATA DISAPPOINTMENT IN ADDIS ABABA

LONDON – Publish What You Fund is deeply concerned that the huge opportunity for transformative open data will be missed at the Financing for Development (FfD3) conference next week. Despite its ambitious objective, the current document that is intended to guide the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals, lacks strong, action-oriented new policy and financing commitments with clear deliverables.

Without specific, time bound commitments, governments cannot be held to account for their ambitious promises. The FfD conference is the first of three crucial development forums this year for setting out the future of sustainable development. It is critical that all governments commit to be transparent about all resources going into development and publish how much money they are spending, where this is going, and with what results.

Publish What You Fund’s research suggests that little over half of the aid going to a group of poor, aid-dependent countries is published in an open, standardised and timely way. Without this information, governments are not able to see what resources go into their countries and civil society cannot hold development providers to account. The current draft FfD document does not go nearly far enough to ensuring that access to this data will be guaranteed.

There is still time for governments to rectify this. Steps can be taken next week in Addis to ensure more ambitious commitments are agreed upon. The conference has to give a strong signal that ambition is possible, otherwise the global development agenda is in serious doubt.

Rupert Simons, CEO, Publish What You Fund, said:

“As it stands, this document is a missed opportunity to create a transparent process to follow up on the impact of financing sustainable development that is accountable to citizens everywhere. Open data and transparency are essential for governments and civil society to be able to track commitments on financing and results in a meaningful way, but right now it is more of a data disappointment.”

ENDS

Contact: Nick Winnett, Partnerships and Outreach Officer, Publish What You Fund, +44 (0) 7939 527 760, Nick.Winnett@PublishWhatYouFund.org

Notes:

  1. Publish What You Fund is the global campaign for aid transparency, advocating for a significant increase in the availability and accessibility of comprehensive, timely and comparable aid information. The organisation monitors the transparency of aid donors in order to track progress, encourage further transparency and hold them to account. The annual Aid Transparency Index and 2015 Aid Transparency Review methodology is the only global measure of aid transparency.
  2. The Third International Conference on Financing for Development will take place in Addis Ababa from July 13-16 2015. It is intended to address the unfinished business of previous FfD conferences in Monterrey and Doha. The outcome of the Conference will be an important milestone on the road toward the adoption of a new sustainable development agenda at the UN in September and a universal climate change agreement at the Paris Climate Conference in December.
  3. At the Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011, the world’s largest aid providers committed to publishing their data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) by December 2015. IATI is the only global common standard for publishing aid information that ensures data is timely, comprehensive, comparable & accessible.
  4. Publish What You Fund’s infographic shows that in 2013, $13.4bn of official aid was not visible in ten of the most aid dependent countries. Download the infographic at: http://roadto2015.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Publish-What-You-Fund-Infographic_PDF.pdf

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