Elrick: Why reinvent the wheel?

James Elrick yesterday responded to the recent NYT article, ‘Digital Diplomacy’, with a blog on FreeBalance called ‘Why reinvent the wheel?’

The NYT article recounts a fireside chat between the CEO of Google, Google employees, and Cohen and Ross, two prominent players in the US State department, in which they discussed the “difficulty U.S. embassies have in keeping track of services and resources in countries where the U.S. hopes to spur development”. When the possibility of a “virtual one-stop shop” which would show “who’s doing clean water, who’s doing education” is posed. Schmidt asks, “Why can’t we just do this?”
Elrick explains that this problem is currently being addressed internationally, for both donors and recipients. The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) “brings together donors, partner countries and civil society to enhance aid effectiveness by improving transparency. The IATI also helps reduce corruption, increase cooperation and improve aid effectiveness. Aid transparency means that everyone can see how much aid is being provided, what it is being spent on (water, education), and what it aims to achieve. This helps ensure that aid is used in the most effective ways, so that each dollar, euro, pound, yen goes as far as possible in fighting poverty. And the IATI is working towards aid transparency all over the world.”
He couldn’t have put it better. Read the post here.

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