‘Uneven’ progress on Paris Aid Effectiveness aid transparency commitments

The findings of the Paris Declaration Monitoring Survey confirm disappointing progress by donors against their aid effectiveness commitments made in Paris in 2005.

On aid transparency, recognised in the report as a necessary precondition for more effective aid, the report notes that progress on aid transparency has been ‘uneven’:

IATI […] is perhaps the most significant initiative at the global level aiming to improve the accessibility of information on aid. Based on the OECD’s CRS standards, IATI has developed additional features finalised in the IATI standard agreed in February 2011, such as more timely data (quarterly), information on forward spending plans, and documentary information (e.g.country strategies; conditionality and results frameworks). Most signatories have agreed to publish information according to the IATI standard before the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (November-December 2011). As of June 2011, three signatories (the United Kingdom, Hewlett Foundation and the World Bank) publish their aid information using the IATI standard, and an additional eight have submitted plans to do so.

Individual donors are also contributing to improved aid transparency, through a variety of domestic and join initiatives, including the US President’s Open Government Directive, Sweden’s “OpenAid” system, the EU aid information gathering system (TR-AID), and the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative. The United Kingdom has been a major proponent of transparency and has itself adopted far-reaching policies to make its own government’s information more transparent and publically available, including on aid. Aid transparency indices. A number of independently developed indices have blossomed recently, such as the Brookings Transparency Index, the Publish What You Fund Transparency Index and the aid transparency section of the AidWatch report (EU countries only), which rate donors on their transparency practices. They show a wide variation in performance across bilateral and multilateral donors.

Although there are inherent methodological challenges associated with these approaches and different indices rank donors differently, these efforts to assess donor performance confirm that several large donors leave significant room for improvement (Ghosh and Kharas, 2011; Publish What You Fund, 2010; AidWatch, 2011).” p.77 -78

Read the full report here.

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