Press Release: Aid transparency within reach, but too many donors falling short

Increased effort required by most ahead of crucial summit in November

 

(16 May, London) – By publishing aid transparency implementation plans today a handful of international donors have proven that more transparent aid can be achieved. “They have put other donors to shame who should have done better” said campaign group Publish What You Fund.

In response to today’s publication of donors’ implementation plans as part of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Karin Christiansen, Director of Publish What You Fund, said: “A range of donors – large and small – have proven today that increased aid transparency is perfectly possible and could be achieved by the major aid effectiveness meeting at the end of this year.

“Disappointingly only 7 of the 18 IATI signatories have submitted plans inside the deadline, and of those a number are not yet detailed or ambitious enough. Aid transparency is a central plank of broader aid effectiveness: without it neither governments nor citizens can know how much money is being spent where or on what.”

Donors who have submitted information on how they will meet their commitments include the European Commission and the World Bank, and the most thorough plan came from the UK, which was also the first donor to publish aid information to the IATI registry.

Other plans were either incomplete or not submitted. Germany, Ireland and Switzerland are among the donors who are yet to indicate when they will fulfil their promises on greater aid transparency.

The implementation plans are released just over 6 months before the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, scheduled to take place in Busan, Korea from November 29 – December 1. At this meeting donors will be assessed on the progress or otherwise they have made.

Christiansen said: “This is not rocket science. Aid transparency is an entirely achievable goal, as a number of donors have shown today. Failure will simply be due to lack of political will. If donors are not to have egg on their faces later this year, they need to move much faster now to make sure they can meet their pledges.”

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Editors’ notes

  • The donors’ International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) implementation schedules were published today on the IATI website. For Publish What You Fund’s detailed analysis of them see here.
  • Recent aid transparency developments include the Swedish OpenAid Initiative, the recent signing of the African Development Bank to IATI, and the World Bank’s data release to the IATI Registry earlier today.
  • The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) was launched at the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra in 2008, and “aims to make information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand”. In February 2011 it the global standard was finalised for the disclosure of aid information. The now 19 IATI signatories (aid donors who have agreed to publish their information to this standard) are:  Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank (just signed), the European Commission (EC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), Hewlett Foundation.
  • Publish What You Fund is the global campaign for aid transparency, advocating for a significant increase in the availability and accessibility of comprehensive, timely and comparable aid information, with the World Bank, U.S., and EU as our main targets – http://publishwhatyoufund.org/
  • The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness is a meeting of over 100 donors, partner countries and civil society taking place in Busan, Korea from November 29 – December 1. It follows meetings in Rome, Paris and Accra that were of vital importance in transforming aid relationships between donors and partners into true vehicles for development cooperation.

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