On 28th January the UK Department for International Development (DFID) became the first aid donor to publish what they fund. Demonstrating continued leadership on aid transparency and fulfilling promises made in Accra in 2008, DFID is now the first agency in the world to put its aid information through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Registry.
For the last two years the world’s largest aid donors have been agreeing a standard for disclosing aid information to ensure that it is comprehensive, accessible, timely, and comparable. As more donors act on their commitments, aid transparency will enable governments and NGOs to see where to allocate their resources in relation to others’ plans to achieve maximum impact. In addition, taxpayers in donor countries and citizens in recipient countries will be able to hold their governments to account for how aid money is spent and whether services are delivered.
On February 9th the IATI Steering Committee will meet to define the last details of the disclosure Standard. Between then and the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan in November 2011, the rest of the world will need to follow the UK’s lead and make international aid transparency a reality.