Oxfam has just released details of every overseas project they have funded in 2009-2010; being the first big NGO in the field to do so. Now accessible online, the spreadsheet contains the title, location and allocated funds for 1070 projects.
Marking a big step toward open data on aid expenditure, Francis Bacon, a prominent international development blogger says “we should encourage Oxfam to release more information about the purpose and evaluation of these projects so that they can be properly judged.”
He also points out that “Oxfam is active in about 60 countries, but in about half of these it spends less than a £1m (at that level of funding a country office can’t do much more than maintain a physical presence). Wouldn’t it be better if Oxfam concentrated on making a measurable difference in just a few places?” It is important to have these data sets open to the public so that we can ask questions such as this, and Oxfam should be applauded for making this happen.