US press release
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has come out as the top bilateral aid agency globally in the 2020 Aid Transparency Index. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also showed significant improvement, increasing its score to put it near the top of the “good” category for the first time.
The 2020 Aid Transparency Index, launched today by Publish What You Fund, ranks 47 major donor organizations globally. Included in the Index are five US agencies: MCC, USAID, the US Department of State (State), the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the US Department of Defense (Defense).
MCC continues to be a global leader in transparency, placing 7th overall in the ‘very good’ category, with a total score of 92.1. USAID continued to improve its transparency with a score of 76.7 – a jump of 8 points from the 2018 Index – placing it near the top of the “good” category with a ranking of 15.
For the first time, State also placed in the “good” category, with a score of 63.2 and a ranking of 25. PEPFAR slipped back into the top of the fair category with a score of 59.8 and Defense slipped into the “poor” category.
The US Brief provides additional detail on the performance of the US agencies, along with specific and general recommendations for improving transparency. Generally, US agencies need to publish more evaluation-type information and should consider all moving to monthly publication to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).
George Ingram, Chair of Friends of Publish What You Fund, said: “Transparency in US foreign assistance is both a norm and a legal requirement that allows for a range of benefits and makes US assistance more effective. Especially in the times of a global pandemic – where aid agencies need to be nimble – transparency takes on added importance so that all development stakeholders can see where resources are going and for what purpose and result. When we have come through this global emergency, transparency will allow us to learn the lessons, both good and bad, and apply them going forward.”
Maureen Shauket, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Learning at USAID, said: “USAID is thrilled to have improved its transparency score in the 2020 Index. The increase reflects USAID’s commitment to improve data quality and data access for our stakeholders. To support the Journey to Self-Reliance, we have also increased the frequency of publication of our health and humanitarian data, including for COVID-19 response activities.”