News roundup – DFI transparency of impact measurement and reporting leaves room for improvement
We recently completed the second work stream of our DFI Transparency Initiative, which looked at the ways in which development finance institutions (DFIs) predict, measure, and record impact. Our new working paper analyses the use and disclosure of impact measurement practices of 20 leading bilateral and multilateral DFIs. It reveals DFIs rarely disclose expected impacts, and there is even less disclosure of actual development results. We found almost no disclosure of project-level results for private sector lending and little quality aggregate impact reporting.
We also hosted a webinar in September to present our findings, which is now available to watch online.
DFI spotlight series
Following our recent research into impact transparency, we spoke to three DFIs about their approach to impact management and disclosure, the role of commercial confidentiality and the opportunities for change across the development finance sector:
Our CEO Gary Forster caught up with Alex MacGillivray, Evaluations Director at CDC Group, the UK’s DFI. Alex shared his thoughts on where the DFI sector is on impact transparency and the opportunities for more and better disclosure of impact data.
“The first thing you need is for development impact to be at the core of your mission and championed by your leadership.“
Our DFI Transparency Initiative Project Manager, Farzana Ahmed, sat down with Marco Serena, Head of Development Impact at the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) to discuss PIDG’s impact journey and what they’ve learned so far.
“At PIDG we made a choice a few years back to publish data on all our investments and not to use commercial confidentiality as a blanket barrier to disclosure.”
Gary also talked with Ginny Reyes Llamzon, Associate General Counsel at the Global Innovation Fund (GIF), to discuss how they approach impact measurement and disclosure, and how they share impact data from their investees without undermining their competitive position.
“We’ve learned a lot about what it takes to ensure investments are not only impactful but also measurable, and what is then required to make that information public.”
And here’s a selection of news stories we’ve been reading over the last month.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) blog calls for urgent reform of the international debt architecture, to prevent a developing country debt crisis and avoid a second wave of economic distress. It demands greater debt transparency: “Without knowing what countries already owe and on what terms, creditors cannot make informed lending decisions. They will also be reluctant to participate in restructurings unless they know the terms given to other creditors.” A recent Publish What You Fund blog looked into the transparency implications of ODA rule changes on debt relief.
Donor Tracker is publishing a series of Insight pieces, analysing three pillars of gender equality endeavours: funding for women’s economic empowerment; efforts to end gender-based violence; and the fight for sexual and reproductive health and rights. The second piece has just been released, which analyses existing research and newly released 2018 OECD data to assess how donor countries are approaching and, in many cases, falling short on efforts to combat gender-based violence in their global development programmes.
This Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data blog sets out five learnings from the Inclusive Data Charter network and calls on governments and organisations to commit to making their data more inclusive, accurate and timely.
Eurodad has highlighted a joint submission from 26 civil society organisations to the November 2020 OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) High Level Meeting, calling on DAC members to do development better. The submission includes calls for DAC members to provide full transparency of commitments and transfers responding to COVID-19, and adapt the DAC statistical system to enable all stakeholders to monitor relevant changes in financial allocations, and to work together to establish transparent and consistent methodologies for accounting for their climate finance.
This Transparency International blog looks at the emergency assistance provided by the IMF in the first six months of the pandemic and proposes three steps to ensure future funding gets to where it is most needed and does not exacerbate inequalities.
This Lowy Institute article discusses the lack of accessible information on the impacts of aid projects in the Pacific region. To make evaluation documents more accessible and thereby encourage greater learning from previous aid efforts, Lowy has put together an aid evaluations database as an addition to its Pacific Aid Map. The database pulls together 762 documents from 272 aid projects in the Pacific region over the last 20 years. The Lowy Institute also calls for a common ratings standard to make evaluations and reviews less opaque.
Southern Voice has launched a digital knowledge hub on COVID-19 in the Global South. This interactive space compiles research from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America on the impact the pandemic is having on those regions.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and stimulate renewed action and progress on gender equality, the Generation Equality Forum has launched six thematic Action Coalitions. Data2X has stated that quality gender data is fundamental across each Action Coalition and it must underscore Generation Equality efforts to catalyse progress on the SDGs, deliver results, and ultimately improve the lives of women and girls. In a new brief series, Data2X is calling on Action Coalition leaders to:
- Use gender data to inform blueprints and concrete actions;
- Develop a gender data plan to help deliver on that blueprint;
- Demand investment to close gender data gaps that will impede progress.
Devex has launched a UK aid tracker, with updates on the latest news stories on development from the UK.
A recent discussion organised by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s 75th session saw world leaders stress the importance of trust, transparency, accountability and participation in pandemic recovery efforts. The OGP’s CEO, Sanjay Pradhan, proposed one of the priorities for pandemic responses was to ensure transparency and oversight of pandemic recovery expenses, with open contracts, open budgets and open aid. He said open contracts should become the global norm.
The new SDGs Today platform, launched this summer by SDSN in partnership with Esri and the National Geographic Society, features real-time and timely data on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and offers education resources to support countries, institutions and civil society members to produce, share and engage with the data to help ensure that we meet the global goals by 2030. The partnership behind the platform recently held the first “Global Goals Day of Factivism” to spotlight the need for evidence-based policies that are grounded in facts and based on accurate and timely data.
This Human Rights Watch article examines the lack of transparency from the Cameroon Government on the funding it has received to respond to COVID-19 and how it has been spent.
The Finance in Common summit, the first global gathering of public development banks, will take place from 9th to 12th November.