What’s the point of another transparency indicator?

In 2011 the Busan Partnership agreement committed providers of development co-operation to implement a common, open standard for the publication of transparent development cooperation. To monitor this commitment it was agreed that a ‘transparency indicator’ would be developed to monitor implementation of the common standard. The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) was mandated to develop the indicator and, four years on, is now undertaking a consultation on the current proposal.

Publish What You Fund and Transparency International have made a submission to the GPEDC consultation. Our main concerns are:

  • This indicator has still not been agreed four years after the Busan commitment on aid transparency was made, which clearly calls into question the political will to make progress on this agenda and the value of the GPEDC monitoring process to incentivise change. The results of the 2015 Aid Transparency Reviews show that many providers are currently off-track to meet this commitment. We urge donors to take every step to make their development cooperation transparent by the end of this year.
  • The methodology as it stands does not reflect the spirit of Busan with regard to the needs of partner countries and civil society for more timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information in an open data format. It certainly does not recognise or reward the efforts made by IATI publishers many of which have made considerable progress on meeting this commitment.
  • The existing Busan commitment on aid transparency is running out at the end of this year – if the GPEDC is serious about making progress on this issue – and remaining relevant to the 2030 agenda – we need to see existing commitments broadened and strengthened at the next HLM in Kenya: beyond aid and beyond traditional providers, with a focus on data quality and use.

We believe that there is a point in another transparency indicator, but only if it is structured around the Busan principle of “global light, country heavy”, ensuring that countries are in the driving seat of managing their own development. To this end, we call on the GPEDC to ensure that the indicator methodology properly reflects the needs of partner countries in the spirit of Busan.

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