PRESS RELEASE: Aid donors make progress on transparency as key summit opens

Aid donors make progress on transparency as key summit opens

Aid donors have made significant progress on increasing the transparency of their spending ahead of a key summit on aid effectiveness taking place in Busan, South Korea said campaigners today. On the eve of the High Level Forum, Canada, the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture and Development all signed up to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which provides a common standard for publishing aid information.

The Asian Development Bank also published its data to the IATI registry yesterday, meaning that 40% of all global aid is now being reported to this standard. Thirteen out of a total twenty-four IATI signatories have now published aid information, including in recent weeks Spain, Sweden, Finland, the UN Development Programme and EuropeAid.

Karin Christiansen, Managing Director of Publish What You Fund said: “Aid transparency is absolutely vital for making aid more effective. Without timely and comparable information donors can’t coordinate their aid, recipient countries can’t plan and citizens can’t hold their governments to account. The recent publications set a very positive example that other donors should follow.”

Ben Phillips, Save the Children’s Campaign Mobilisation Director said: “The decision of key donors to sign up to the International Aid Transparency Initiative sends a great signal. Transparency from all major aid donors would be equivalent to an additional 3 billion dollars – that’s enough to immunise over 350 million children against deadly diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis.”

Paolo de Renzio, Senior Research Fellow at the International Budget Partnership said: “Transparency and accountability are fundamental at both ends of the aid relationship. Developing countries can only provide timely, accurate and comprehensive budget information to their citizens if donors provide adequate information on aid which is compatible with partner country systems.”

Craig Fagan, Senior Policy Coordinator for Transparency International said: “Aid transparency is a key step forward. It will help governments make aid more accountable, predictable and locally owned and ensure the money benefits communities rather than fuels corruption and mismanagement.”

Michael Elliott, CEO and President of the One Campaign said: “By making clear and measurable commitments on transparency, accountability and results, the Busan forum can put people back in the picture, make aid more effective and help to ensure that all development resources – aid and beyond – are used effectively in the fight against poverty.”

Lucia Fry from ActionAid said: “It’s great to see that progress has been possible in transparency, which is vital for ensuring accountability and putting poor countries in the driving seat.”

The progress on transparency is set against a backdrop of otherwise disappointing results. Aid donors have largely failed to keep their promises to improve coordination, increase developing countries’ ownership, and focus on results. Pre-summit negotiations on a draft outcome text carried on late into the night on Monday with a key sticking point being whether donors would automatically align their aid with recipient countries’ own system.

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Issued by: ActionAid, the International Budget Partnership, the One Campaign, Publish What You Fund, Save the Children and Transparency International

To arrange interviews contact: Amy Barry in Korea on +82 1056771829 or +44 7980 664397

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