News Roundup – Avoiding Groundhog Day on US Foreign Assistance Cuts, Our Views on the IATI Strategy and the Importance of Documentation
Avoiding groundhog day on US foreign assistance
President Trump will soon send Congress his budget for FY 2020. The development community is fully expecting drastic cuts to the proposed foreign aid budget – repeating the FY ‘18 and ’19 scenarios. Over the past 18 months we have conducted detailed research into the impact of proposed cuts. In a new blog, Sally Paxton reflects on our findings and their significance for the FY 20 budget debate.
Focusing on the fundamentals: our view on IATI’s future strategy
The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) has come a long way in its first ten years. As it consults on its future strategy, we have been reflecting on what we think are the priorities for improving the transparency of aid and development data and where IATI could focus its energies for future success. In our new blog we’ve summarised our consultation response and explained why we think IATI should focus on the fundamentals.
The IATI strategy consultation closes today, so if you would also like to have your say you can contribute now.
We’re seeking a new Project Assistant
Do you want to help us improve the transparency of aid and development information? Are you good with data? Do you have great attention to detail, with some knowledge of aid and development? Do you have clear written and verbal communication skills, the ability to plan and manage research projects and solid Excel skills? Then we would like to hear from you!
Why we need documentation
Providing easily available documentation is a crucial step in transparency, as it allows us to understand important development activities, such as what a donor agency’s multi-year strategy is for a specific country, or more detailed information such as the results of a particular project or how many people it impacted. For this reason, we have recently conducted a detailed analysis of the available documentation provided by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This is the final output of our US foreign assistance project.
While these agencies have robust policies mandating the sharing of these kinds of documents in a timely manner, we found these policies aren’t always being adhered to systematically. While high level, strategic documentation was usually available, we had a more difficult time accessing more granular data that would help people understand the true impact of these development projects.
And here’s what else we’ve been reading this week…
In the latest of the Fiscal Futures series, a blog from the International Budget Partnership looks at the increase in low- and middle-income countries’ borrowing from the private sector and China. It examines the negative implications for the fiscal transparency of emerging market governments in the near term and asks how fiscal transparency and accountability advocates should respond.
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