News Roundup – Transparency and the New US DFI, Our 2018 Best Bits and Webinar Follow Up
Setting the gold standard for transparency
A new US development finance institution (DFI) is being established. Ray Washburn, President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which is leading on the transition to the new agency, has stated that he wants the new US Development Finance Corporation to set the gold standard for a modern and transparent DFI.
It is indeed a rare opportunity to set up an agency from the beginning, being able to learn from other DFIs as to what worked and what did not. And it creates the ability to reach a bit higher, to innovate more, and to truly set the gold standard.
But what does this mean in practice? Read the insightful new blog from Sally Paxton and the Brooking Institution’s George Ingram on what the USDFC should be looking at if it is to achieve the gold standard in transparency.
Our 2018 best bits
It’s been a busy year at Publish What You Fund. As is traditional at this time of year, we’ve been reflecting on what we’ve achieved and what we need to do next. Here’s our quick roundup of what the team has been up to – from the influential Aid Transparency Index, and on the ground research into aid flows in Liberia and Cambodia, to developing new tools to increase access to aid and development data.
How to use open aid data 101 webinar
If you missed our recent webinars on using open aid data, you can now catch up online. We have just uploaded a recording (in English and French). The webinar covers how to access and use IATI, OECD-DAC and World Bank portal data. It was designed for anyone with an interest in open aid data, of all knowledge levels.
Eight members of Congress press for progress on foreign aid transparency
In a letter to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, a bipartisan group of foreign aid leaders in the Senate and House called for a progress report on the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (FATAA). In addition to noting areas where US agencies have fallen short on both evaluations and publication of timely and high-quality aid data, the Congressional letter specifically references our analysis of the two US foreign assistance dashboards, jointly done by the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and Publish What You Fund. The letter noted that the Administration had missed the deadline to consolidate the “dueling dashboards” and called for a solution in line with our recommendations to be included in the President’s fiscal year 2020 budget.
And here’s a quick round up of what we’ve been reading this week…
Localization in aid – why isn’t it happening? What to do about it?
“Everyone in the aid system agrees that localization is a good idea, but it isn’t happening.” This blog post from Oxfam’s Duncan Green considers what is going wrong and why.
OECD-DAC members unable to reach a consensus on private sector instruments
This Devex article describes how the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee — the body tasked with setting the rules around ODA for its members — has revealed that despite years of talks, members could not reach a comprehensive set of rules on how to report aid spent through private sector instruments such as loans, guarantees, and equity.
A Review of the Mid-Term Review of the IDA Private Sector Window
The World Bank’s soft-lending arm IDA recently held the mid-term review of its 18th round of funding. The Centre for Global Development’s Charles Kenny has been looking into the detail, and assessing what we know about how the $2.5 billion of PSW funding is being used and what is still unknown.
Time for a Bill of Data Rights?
As the US Senate debates a new bill, this article from data-governance expert Martin Tisne presents a plan to protect liberty and freedom in the digital age.