We’re joining the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. With a commitment, and with one condition.

Publish What You Fund is pleased to announce that it is joining the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data which is launching in New York today, International Right to Know Day.

Publish What You Fund has campaigned for aid transparency since we were founded in 2009. We advocate for more and better data to track aid flows, and monitor the quality of that data through our Aid Transparency Index. We joined the call for a Data Revolution in 2014, and hope the new Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data will help make it a reality.

Access to reliable, timely data is critical to measuring and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. That includes data on births and deaths, government spending and public services. It should also include data on foreign aid: where it comes from, where it is going and what results it has. Aid is public money but often treated as private information. Earlier this year, Publish What You Fund found that only half the world’s aid is visible in an open, timely and standardised way.

We are excited to be a champion of the global data partnership: we see it as a powerful opportunity to close data gaps, and build bridges between the development, statistics and open data communities. Amidst the excitement, we also need to make sure that donors don’t forget the promises they already made. In 2011, countries around the world signed the Busan Declaration, where they committed to publish timely, comprehensive and forward looking information to a common, open standard. That means publishing data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative at least once a quarter and using the data for better decision-making. It also means joining up data on aid with data on budgets, extractive industries and public contracts, so that we can follow the money wherever it goes.

Our commitment to the Global Data Partnership is that we will work towards making all development flows transparent by the end of 2018. We will monitor progress towards that goal using our Aid Transparency Index. We will engage with donors, including financial institutions and providers of south-south cooperation, to improve the quality of their data; we will engage with the users of the data to make sure that it meets their needs; and we will engage with open data community to work towards joined-up data standards.

Our condition is that the Global Partnership must not let donors off the hook. The 2030 Development Agenda is a universal one, and that means everyone must play their part. Governments who preach openness must practise it. Donors must publish their data without delay. We have heard lots of promises this weekend: let’s not forget about the promises already made.

We are pleased to add our commitment to the ones already made by other partners. We look forward to working with all of them to make the data revolution a reality.

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