PRESS RELEASE: HOW TRANSPARENT IS UK AID?

LONDON – While most UK aid is becoming more transparent, the activities of some UK Government departments delivering foreign assistance remains unclear, according to the UK Aid Transparency Report Card published today.

Produced by Publish What You Fund and UKAN, the report comes one year after the Government threw its weight behind aid transparency at the Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.

The UK’s main aid spender, the Department for International Development (DFID), ranks number one out of 72 global donors surveyed, and is the only government organisation to receive a ‘good’ rating. A new-comer to aid, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) received a respectable score in the ‘moderate’ category.

However, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and CDC, the Government’s development finance institution, rank in the ‘poor’ category, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) comes near the bottom at 60th place, placing the department in the bottom of the ‘poor’ category. Information on the international development programmes and activities of these organisations is extremely limited.

David Hall-Matthews, Director of Publish What You Fund, said:

“DFID is leading the way in aid transparency, yet if the UK Government wants to fully deliver on its Busan aid transparency commitment, then there must be a shift towards publishing, including development spending via FCO and MOD.

“Despite the UK Government’s commitment to open data and transparency, beyond DFID there remains a lot of aid data that is only partially available, is held in different locations and formats, is difficult to access, or is not published at all.”

Produced annually, the Publish What You Fund 2012 Aid Transparency Index ranks 72 global aid organisations, from traditional multilateral and bilateral donors, to climate finance and development finance institutions.

DFID and the World Bank are the first two organisations ever to receive a ‘good’ rating. Conversely, the ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ groups still contain nearly half of all organisations surveyed – including some of the world’s most prominent donors, such as France.

The UK plays a vital role in championing aid transparency internationally, and DFID was among the donors that established the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) in 2008, which provides a global standard for publishing aid information. The report argues that for aid to be fully transparent, donors must publish information to IATI.

To see all the findings of the 2012 Aid Transparency Index, please visit: http://www.publishwhatyoufund.org/

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Notes:

  1. 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. The organisation monitors the transparency of aid donors in order to track progress, encourage further transparency and hold them to account.
  2. The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) has 35 signatory donors committed to publishing to its common standard. These donors account for over 75% of Official Development Finance (ODF).

 

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