News Roundup – How Do We Measure Aid Transparency?
What’s under the bonnet … getting into our Index methodology
As we get ready to start the data collection process for the next Aid Transparency Index, we wanted to share all the details of our methodology. Following significant changes in 2018, we’ve opted for only a few minimal modifications in 2020. Elma Jenkins sets out the changes in her new blog, and you can also read the full methodology in our updated 2020 Technical Paper.
News from Nigeria
Two members of our team are just back from Nigeria, where they have been working with the federal government to understand how they access and use aid data, and to identify how they could access more timely and useful data. One of their meetings was with the Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, Mike Etaba, who later called for more donor agencies to publish details of their funding for Nigeria: “We feel strongly that the impact of the aid from international donor agencies is not being felt by Nigerians. The questions we have always asked are: ‘How do you track what the donor agencies are giving and how do you ensure the assistance is getting to the intended places? How do the activities of the donor agencies impact on the masses? Those are the issues that bother Nigerians.”
And here’s a quick round up of what else we’ve been reading over the last month…
A new Southern Voice paper describes how partnerships with non-traditional donors has given the Government of Uganda more room to focus on productive infrastructure. It states, however, that: “…this has contributed to fast-rising sovereign debt. Non-traditional donors negotiate funding informally and less transparently. This is a threat to accountability.”
The Accountability Counsel has launched a new online database that brings together the complaints made by communities against international development projects. The Accountability Console includes all 1,300 complaints filed to the independent accountability mechanisms of bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions. These include human rights and environmental grievances.
The European Investment Bank has released details of its new energy lending policy and announced that it will no longer consider new financing for unabated, fossil fuel energy projects, including gas, from the end of 2021 onwards.
The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) has launched its new Validator for public testing. This is an important tool for improving the quality of IATI data.
A Transparency International blog sets out four reasons why the World Bank should engage more with civil society.
The Pathways for Prosperity Commission has launched its Digital Roadmap, based on two years of research and engagement looking at how lower-income countries can harness new technologies to deliver development for all their citizens, not just the privileged few. The recommendations include the need to “translate” data for citizens and a call for investment in digital platforms “to involve citizens in decision-making”.
A recent blog from the Overseas Development Institute focuses on aid populism, and the recent trend of trading off global aid spending against domestic gain. It considers the narratives that are emerging in Canada, Australia, the US and UK.