On February 4 and 5, 2010, eleven organizations from around the world (see the list below) came together in snowy Washington D.C. to discuss “The Six Questions Campaign”.
The campaign was launched in September 2009 by the International Budget Partnership as an innovative, 85 country effort highlighting the need for increased financial transparency and accountability of money being spent on international development. While governments continue to sign and ratify agreements it is hard to see if they are actually doing what they say they will. Disclosing information on how public money is spent is central to government transparency and accountability to its own citizens.
Of the "Six Questions" being asked, two are about the transparency of aid – both the transparency of how donors are giving aid money, and how recipient countries are receiving it. We are working with Oxfam America, AidInfo and International Budget Partnership on these questions, focussing on current aid spending levels, and future spending plans.
In the recipient countries we are asking the total amount of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) received in the last year, and committed for the next three (from the EU, 3 U.S. agencies, and the World Bank). In donor countries we are asking the total amount of ODA provided in the last year and that has been committed for the next three, specifically for Rwanda, Liberia, Ethiopia, Colombia, and Vietnam, as a sample of aid-dependent countries.
The logic for these questions is based on what donors agreed to in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and commitments reiterated in an Accra Agenda for Action in 2008. The answers to the questions are expected to be gathered in just a few months and will help assess how well aid transparency commitments are being delivered in the run up to the MDG summit this year, and next Aid Effectiveness meeting in Korea. We will keep you up to date as the results come in.
The project coordinators are Access Info and International Budget Partnership. The other organisations participating, all working on particular issues questions of financial transparency are:
White Ribbon Alliance, Family Care International, Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program at Columbia University, Publish What You Fund, Oxfam USA, Development Initiatives, World Resources Institute, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Center for Law and Development.