‘21st Century Aid: Recognising success and tackling failure’ is a briefing paper released today, 20th May by Oxfam. Setting out what it says on the tin, aid transparency is recognised as central to increasing aid effectiveness.
Notably, Chapter 22, ‘Aid without onerous conditions, aid that is transparent’, emphasizes the necessity of transparency around aid information in order that governments are informed and thus have a better platform from which to implement sustainable development plans.
From Ch. 22, p. 23:
Transparency is another crucial aspect of good aid. To help citizens pressure their governments to be open and transparent, donors need to be clear about what they provide, and when. Aid transparency is particularly important for budget transparency in countries which receive high levels of aid: a study in Uganda in 2007 found that double the project aid previously accounted for was actually being spent in the country, skewing the government’s reporting of national spending to the public. Transparency also goes hand in hand with predictability in that it enables governments to plan, prioritise, and communicate their spending decisions to the public. Despite the causal links between good transparency and better aid, progress on international commitments to increase aid accountability has been slow and donors have not been quick to implement their commitments on aid transparency.