News Roundup – Aid Transparency Index results revealed and humanitarian data transparency series launched
It has been a busy month for the team at Publish What You Fund – we have launched the Aid Transparency Index as well as a series of reports on humanitarian data transparency. See below for all the details.
Launch of the 2020 Aid Transparency Index
On 24th June, we launched the 2020 Aid Transparency Index, the only independent measure of aid transparency among the world’s major aid donors. It highlights:
- Significant improvement in aid donors’ overall transparency compared to 2018, with over half of the 47 assessed donors now ranked as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
- Only a minority of donors are publishing project results with fewer still publishing project reviews and evaluations, limiting the ability of stakeholders to gauge the effectiveness and value of aid spending.
- The Index is driving behaviour towards greater transparency and openness among aid donors.
The 2020 Aid Transparency Index report can be downloaded here.
The Index website provides full details of the ranking – which was topped this year by the Asian Development Bank – Sovereign Portfolio. The website also includes analysis of the performance of each of the 47 donors.
The US Brief assesses the performance of the five US donors included in the Index this year. The Millennium Challenge corporation ranks as the top bilateral donor, while the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has its biggest improvement to date
Meanwhile there remains a gulf in the performance of the two UK donors included in the ranking. Our UK press release sets out why UK aid faces a serious transparency challenge following the announcement of the Department for International Development’s merger with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Watch the launch
You can catch up on the launch of the 2020 Index, featuring presentations and discussion on the results of the Index and the implications for the future of aid transparency. The launch, hosted online by the Brookings Institution, featured:
- George Ingram, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution
- Nora O’Connell, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy, Save the Children
- Henry Asor Nkang, Development Assistance Database Manager, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Abuja, Nigeria
- Scott Hocklander, Mission Director, USAID Mission in Chisinau, Moldova
- Gary Forster, CEO, Publish What You Fund
Talking Aid Transparency
In the lead up to the launch of the 2020 Aid Transparency Index, Publish What You Fund’s CEO Gary Forster talked to a number of stakeholders about their experience of using aid data, the demand for data, why aid transparency matters and the role of trust and engagement. You can see the short films with:
- Ary Tahir of the Public Aid Organization in Iraq
- Shahana Hayat of Christian Aid in Bangladesh
- Henry Asor Nkang of the Nigerian Government
Our Index blog series features a number of guest contributors, discussing issues pertinent to the future of aid transparency:
Why data engagement is key to inclusive, transparent development
Gary Forster’s blog, which originally appeared in Devex, reflects on the findings of the 2020 Index, and discusses the emerging challenge for all of us looking to make sure greater transparency delivers not only more effective development, but also serves to build a trusting and inclusive approach to how development is done.
Aid Transparency Index launches tomorrow
George Ingram of the Brookings Institution looks ahead to the launch of the 2020 Aid Transparency Index and previews the opportunities offered by USAID’s new Development Cooperation Landscape Tool.
Using data for social good: transparency of public finances is vital
Claire Schouten, Senior Programme Officer at the International Budget Partnership reflects on the role of aid transparency as it relates to national budget transparency and provides many examples of how and why this information is so much in demand.
From data publication to data engagement
Publish What You Fund’s Chair, Paul Lenz, looks back to where we’ve come from and points to where we now need to go.
The growing demand for aid data – sharing experience from Nigeria
Henry Asor Nkang of the Nigerian Government writes about his experience of aid data, how it is being used and its role in building trust.
Launch of the humanitarian data transparency research series
We have just launched our series of four research briefs on humanitarian data and data transparency. Our research, commissioned by the Grand Bargain Transparency Workstream, and conducted in partnership with Ground Truth Solutions, explored the information needs and challenges of on the ground humanitarian actors in protracted emergencies using Iraq and Bangladesh as case studies. We believe that the findings can provide insights for the Transparency Workstream, but also especially for the broader humanitarian data community. Henry Lewis and Gary Forster explain more in this new blog.
We found there is substantial opportunity to re-calibrate our collective humanitarian data management efforts as well as transparency initiatives to incorporate the data needs and challenges of frontline humanitarian actors. This will require a re-balancing of effort, moving beyond a focus at the HQ level, and encouraging engagement around data at the field level.
Specifically, the research has highlighted that data quality challenges, a lack of data governance and leadership at the field level, and limited data use capacity risk undermining humanitarian assistance efforts.
Our four research briefs each explore key issues facing front line responders accessing and using timely, comprehensive, and comparable data they require to make operational, programmatic, and financial decisions:
- Brief 1: Publication of humanitarian funding data
- Brief 2: Data collection, analysis and use in protracted humanitarian crises
- Brief 3: The use, challenges and opportunities associated with digital platforms
- Brief 4: Data use capacity in protracted humanitarian crises
Join our webinar
Wednesday 8th July (10am – 11am BST) and Thursday 9th July (3pm – 4pm BST)
Join one of our webinars to learn more about our findings from the research, what we’ve learned, what we’re doing next, and how you can help us advocate for change in how data is managed and shared in crisis settings.
Here is a brief roundup of other news and events that have caught our eye over the last month:
The Center for Global Development has launched the Commitment to Development Index (CDI) 2020. The CDI looks at how effectively 40 countries support development and how they could do better across seven core areas: development finance, investment, migration, trade, environment, security, and technology. European countries took a commanding lead, with Sweden, France, Norway, the UK, and Germany clinching the top five spots. Despite being the world’s two biggest economies, the United States and China come up short relative to the size of their economies, taking the 18th and 35th spots, respectively.
The World Bank Group and the Netherlands have launched a new prototype tool to visualise data on the international response to Covid-19. The tool has been developed by Development Initiatives as part of the Grand Bargain’s transparency workstream. It makes it easier to access and use funding data published to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Financial Tracking Service (FTS).
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released the latest edition of its development co-operation profiles. The verified, comparable individual profiles provide detailed statistics and analysis for the aid programmes of 89 providers, including 30 private foundations, up to the end of 2019.
The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) has outlined six ways to maximise the global pandemic response. These include making evidence-based investments and expanding commitments to transparency.
The New Humanitarian has summarised some of the major donors, and the support being requested for COVID-19 responses. The story also describes some of the pitfalls of tracking the funding.
An Oxfam blog describes ‘the COVID-19 accountability emergency’ and the need to pair rapid spending with increased transparency, oversight and participation to help ensure that huge new sums actually go to help the most vulnerable in our societies.