On 13th October the UK aid transparency guarantee was examined by Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, with queries addressed to Andrew Mitchell MP, Secretary of State for International Development. Members sounding out the new initiative included the new shadow International Development Secretary, Harriet Harman MP, and Chairman of the International Development Select Committee, Malcolm Bruce MP.
Questions included how the UK could ensure transparency of aid being spent through multilateral institutions, whether aid transparency will undermine effective aid though decreasing focus on less measurable outcomes, and how the UK could increase political momentum around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Mitchell referred to the multilateral aid review due to report in January on the transparency and impact of aid spending through institutions such as the World Bank. He went on to assure Bruce that is was not only value for money but also development expertise which he hoped to gain from greater aid transparency. To the question about momentum around the MDGs, Mitchell responded that the Economic and Social Council of the UN will be monitoring progress against commitments to encourage countries to fulfil their commitments.
Read the discussion here.