What is Publish What You Fund?

Publish What You Fund is the global campaign for aid transparency. Launched in 2008, we work to make information on aid and development finance open by default and to make sure it is shared and used.

What does Publish What You Fund want to achieve?

We envisage a world where aid and development information is transparent, available and used for effective decision-making, public accountability and lasting change for all citizens. Our 2016 – 2019 strategy aims to improve the amount and quality of information donors publish to the International Aid Transparency Index (IATI) and to increase the use of this information by governments and people everywhere.


Who does Publish What You Fund target to achieve global aid transparency?

Our focus is on governments and institutions that provide aid and development finance. The scope of this work is growing as more money flows to the private sector, through climate finance and to humanitarian emergencies. We concentrate on the largest providers of aid and development finance as we want the maximum amount of information as possible to be open.

Who funds your work?

Most of our funding is derived from grant-making foundations who share our values and objectives. A full list of our funders is here. Some of our work is also supported by Friends of Publish What You Fund an independent 501(c)(3) organisation registered in the District of Columbia.

What is the Aid Transparency Index?

The Aid Transparency Index is the only independent measure of transparency among the world’s leading development organisations. It is a periodic publication researched and produced by Publish What You Fund. The Index is supported by an independent peer review group, who help assess the methodology and report writing. You can find more FAQs on the Aid Transparency Index here.

What is IATI?

The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) provides a standard framework for publishing aid information. IATI is a ‘multi-stakeholder initiative’ with over 70 members including governments, multilateral organisations and civil society groups. The IATI Standard allows funders and implementing organisations to publish their data on aid and development finance in a common format that allows for comparison across organisations.

Publishing to the IATI Standard requires set information, such as a project’s title or the type of work being done, to be entered. The advantage of this is that information between donors can be easily understood and compared and it is timely (e.g. publication of current data as opposed to historical data as with the OECD). It is the only standard where project level data is entered, so it can be disaggregated to a high level of detail and – critically – the data is open. This means that it can be used and reused by anyone and everyone for free.

The IATI Standard is machine readable, so computers are able to quickly analyse the data, rather than people having to copy data from lengthy PDF or written documents. Importantly, IATI allows forward-looking data to be uploaded, which allows partner countries and organisations receiving aid and development finance to plan their budgets better as a result.

What is the difference between the Aid Transparency Index and IATI?

The Aid Transparency Index measures donor progress towards aid transparency and is produced by Publish What You Fund, an independent civil society campaign. The Aid Transparency Index does not include IATI publishers only but also looks at other donors.  IATI is an initiative that promotes and maintains an open data standard. Publish What You Fund was an early supporter of IATI, and we hold one of two civil society seats on the IATI Board, but we are not funded by IATI, and our financial contribution to IATI is limited to our membership fee.

Why do you focus on some donors over others on the website?

Our current strategy is focussed on improving the publications of six key US agencies, two German, two French, the EU, the UK and the World Bank. This is because these donors represent the majority of global development aid and are influential both politically and due to membership on global bodies. They have also engaged with the IATI process to some degree.

Do you publish your own information to IATI?

As an organisation we are committed to high internal transparency standards and as a result we publish our information to IATI. You can see our publication here: https://iatiregistry.org/dataset/pwyf-998

Are you the same organisation as Publish What You Pay?

No we are not. Publish What You Fund and Publish What You Pay are two independent organisations. We work on aid transparency and Publish What You Pay focuses on transparency in the extractives sector. Publish What You Pay supports the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which shares similar aims to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), but in a different sector.

Aid Transparency Index FAQs

Do you have questions specific to the Aid Transparency Index?

Find them here