Aid Transparency central to DFID’s Business Plan

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has this month released its Business Plan for 2011–2015. Central to the plan is a commitment to ensuring aid transparency within DFID to deliver value for money to the taxpayer, government accountability, and improved aid effectiveness:

“DFID regards transparency as fundamental to improving its accountability to UK citizens and to improving accountability to citizens in the countries in which it works. The transparency agenda will also help us achieve our goal of delivering more value for money in the programmes we deliver. Greater transparency will improve the effectiveness of aid in reducing poverty.”

-p.20, DFID Business Plan 2011 – 2015

DFID will also be taking leadership on aid transparency at the international level:

“Transparency is an important principle for government in its own right, but is also of critical importance at the international level. We are working on integrating transparency throughout our partners in the international aid system, by:

• Leading on the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) to improve the international consistency of aid reporting and its suitability at country level

• Requiring, over time, any civil society organisation that is in direct receipt of DFID funds to adhere to similar standards of transparency and accountability, and pushing multilateral organisations to do the same

• Pressing other donors – bilateral, multilateral and non-traditional – to adhere to similar standards of transparency as set out in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)

In order to increase the effectiveness and value for money throughout the delivery chain, we will also work to improve accessibility. We are committed to working at the country and international level to improve the availability, quality and use of data in order to drive effectiveness. Making information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand means that UK taxpayers and citizens in poor countries can more easily hold DFID and recipient governments to account for using aid money wisely. Transparency creates better feedback from beneficiaries to donors and taxpayers, and helps us better understand what works and what doesn’t.”

-p.22,  DFID Business Plan 2011 – 2015

DFID’s information strategy is based on:

“ • The Prime Minister’s government-wide transparency commitments and commitments under the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)

• The UK Aid Transparency Guarantee, which commits DFID to making our aid fully transparent to citizens in both the UK and developing countries

• Extensive internal and external consultations, including with external opinion leaders on aid transparency, such as MySociety, Publish What You Fund and Development Initiatives”

-p.20, DFID Business Plan 2011 – 2015

In addition, and fundamental to the accessibility and comparability of information, DFID will publish their data “in a more accessible format [enabling] others to combine it with data from other donors to create maps, graphs and other visualisations that help show, for example, aid flows to specific countries.” -p. 20, DFID Business Plan 2011 – 2015

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