An annual Accountability Report released ahead of the forthcoming G8 Summit in Deauville, France, states that “the G8 is on a renewed path of transparent follow-up of its commitments, and is obviously concerned with the quality of its aid and the outcomes of this aid.” (Deauville Accountability Report, p.2)
The report hails the efforts the G8 has been making to increase the transparency and effectiveness of its aid. It points to a twin-track approach to accountability: “On the one hand, a quantitative approach based on transparent reporting of disbursements of Official Development Assistance (ODA)… and on the other, a qualitative approach based on the principles of aid effectiveness, measuring results and suggesting best practices.” (Deauville Accountability Report, p.2)
The internal accountability process, put into motion with the first annual report at the Muskoka summit last year, is designed to follow up on the delivery of previous commitments. The new Deauville report states that the official accountability process “has fleshed out a new dynamic of transparency that was inspired by G8 leaders” and “has highlighted the catalysing role played by the G8.” (Deauville Accountability Report, p.5)
This is encouraging rhetoric; however the report has attracted heavy criticism this week from observers such as Oxfam. They have accused the G8 of manipulating figures to cover up shortfalls by ignoring the impact of inflation. It is evident that the transparency of all aid information is an absolute necessity in preventing arguments about data manipulation. If the G8 is truly committed to aid transparency, their rhetoric will begin to turn into reality by signing up to and implementing the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). The importance of this potential move is highlighted in the report itself: It notes the catalytic role that the G8 could play in the drive for greater aid transparency within emerging donors and partner countries.