The latest session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), held in Budapest last week, contained some positive statements surrounding aid transparency. The session was a declaration between the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Parliament (EP) on the Fourth High Level Forum (HLF4) on aid effectiveness in Busan this November.
The JPA calls on donors to take immediate action on the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action commitments. Specifically this means untying aid and increasing the predictability, conditionality and transparency of aid.
It goes on to state that the assembly “recognises the importance of alignment of aid and the use of country systems for the distribution of development aid and in building partner country capacity, promoting ownership, increasing transparency and mutual accountability, and facilitating partner country parliamentary scrutiny.” (ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly: Budapest Declaration, p.2)
Partner countries should also “implement a legal framework for the incorporation of aid into the national budget, in order to allow parliamentary scrutiny of aid spending and increased accountability.” (ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly: Budapest Declaration, p.2)
It is encouraging that aid transparency is increasingly becoming a central topic in the lead up to Busan. Earlier this week, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency and The African Development Bank (AfDB) established greater aid transparency as a key priority for the forum. On Wednesday, Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama discussed the importance of aid transparency and the opportunities for positive change at Busan.