News roundup – join our discussion on making progress on gender equality, and democratising development finance
Here is our monthly round up of news from the aid and development transparency world…
Making progress on gender equality – it’s time for more transparency
Thursday, July 8, 2021 (10:00am EDT, 3:00pm BST)
Fundamental to “building back better” is the need for more transparent information about gender equality initiatives. Improved data quality and capacity plus engagement around gender financing and programme data will support more rigorous policymaking; it will also help gender stakeholders to address funding gaps, to coordinate programmes, to hold funders accountable to their gender equality commitments, and to learn which initiatives make societies more equal and why.
Join us on July 8th, for this virtual event hosted by the Brookings Institution. We’ll be launching our new report “Making Gender Financing More Transparent” and discussing how we can make gender funding flows more transparent and effective with our panel. We are delighted to be joined by:
- Tenzin Dolker, Resourcing Feminist Movements Coordinator, Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
- Michele Sumilas, Assistant to the Administrator for Policy, Planning and Learning, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Marijn Wiersma, Interim Gender Lead, CDC
- Amanda Austin, Head of Policy and Advocacy, Equal Measures 2030
- Sally Paxton, US Representative, Publish What You Fund
- Moderator: George Ingram, Senior Fellow, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution
Democratising development finance – an interview with Aubrey Hruby
Our DFI Transparency Initiative has benefitted from the input of experts from development finance institutions (DFIs), from civil society organisations, and from private sector investors. Aubrey Hruby has been on the Project Advisory Board since the initiative’s inception and brings a wealth of experience of helping investors understand and enter African capital markets. Aubrey shared her perspective on how better transparency can drive more equitable access to development finance when she sat down with our CEO, Gary Forster.
“More transparency can make raising funds, by first time fund managers, far simpler. If you want an inclusive capital space, where we see women-owned, locally owned, institutions run by people of colour, benefitting from DFI support, then we need more first time fund managers, not the same cohort of traditional fund managers with the networks and CVs that we currently see.”
Multilateral development banks could do more to build markets just by releasing more data
The spotlight is on multilateral development banks (MDBs) to help catalyse much larger volumes of private finance for development. In this new blog Nancy Lee of Center for Global Development and Gary Forster and Sally Paxton of Publish What You Fund look at aggregated data recently released from the Global Emerging Markets (GEMs) Risk Database. They argue that disclosure of disaggregated data could bring real evidence to perceptions that private lenders may have about default risk levels in particular regions or sectors, and would help MDBs more accurately price risk and determine where and how to target funds for maximum impact in mobilising additional private finance. They call on MDB and DFI shareholders to deliver a clear mandate to deploy data transparently for maximum market-building impact.
Here’s a selection of news stories we’ve been reading over the last few weeks:
Donor Tracker has released the 2021 version of its Donor updates in brief — a concise summary of trends in total Official Development Assistance (ODA) for 14 major donors. It also includes trends in donors’ funding for two priority areas: gender equality and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The newly-formed Open Procurement EU Coalition has released analysis which finds that a serious lack of transparency and accountability mechanisms is putting the EU’s commitment to spend €672.5 billion on the recovery from the pandemic at risk of corruption and misuse. The analysis by civil society organisations (CSOs) from across Europe looked at 22 EU Member States’ plans for spending the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and found that 20 countries are not planning to release information about the recipients of the funds. Seven countries did not commit to any transparency in the spending of the funds: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia.
This blog from the Development Policy Centre compares the aid budgets of Australia (which looks set to fall over the next three years) and New Zealand (which is estimated to fall and then rise slightly). The blog is critical of New Zealand’s aid transparency, in particular a lack of information on future spending and country-level budgets.
Development Initiatives has released the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2021, providing detailed analysis of the crisis financing landscape. It found that humanitarian funding failed to grow despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The two largest donors — the US and Germany — increased their contributions in 2020, but this failed to offset reductions in funding from 7 of the 20 largest donors. The UK government cut its assistance by nearly one-third, and Saudi Arabia cut its contribution by more than half. While additional funding for the pandemic drove up several donors’ overall contributions, assistance for non-pandemic crises decreased.
Indigenous communities receive less than 1% of aid spending for climate mitigation, according to a new report by Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN). It says that development aid for climate mitigation is more than US$30 billion annually across the globe, but support to Indigenous communities for tenure and forest management adds up to an annual US$270 million – and most of this flows through large organisations.
The Center for Global Development has released estimates of Finance for International Development (FID) for 40 of the world’s major economies in 2018. FID attempts to measure all cross-border assistance given for the purpose of development—including grants, technical assistance, and the grant equivalent of all concessional loans and contributions to multilateral organisations. Key findings include:
- A total of US$156.6 billion of FID was provided in 2018, increasing by US$7.3 billion from its 2017 level.
- 83% of FID (US$130.2 billion) was provided by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries, and 17% (US$26.4 billion) by 13 non-DAC countries.
- The growth rate in the nominal value of FID provided was fastest among non-DAC countries.
A new report by Transparency International highlights how opaque information from COVID-19 vaccine suppliers and buyers has been, and calls for rapid and robust policy reforms to embed transparency into contracting processes.
UK aid cuts have been imposed with inadequate transparency, according to a new report from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), which said it was becoming increasingly difficult to interact with the government. As The Guardian reports, ICAI said that the culture of transparency for which the Department for International Development was known had decreased since it merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office last year.
Sixty-two CSOs and global networks across the world have published an open letter expressing their concerns about the design, consultation process and establishment of the OECD Debt Transparency Initiative (DTI). The DTI was first announced by the G20 in October 2020 as a mechanism to improve transparency in low-income countries. As Eurodad reports, the signatories to the letter argue that for true transparency, the instrument must have participation of governments and stakeholders from the global south and inclusion of all debt instruments and all countries. It also includes a proposal to establish a publicly accessible registry of loan and debt data that can be used as an input in the process of design and implementation of the OECD DTI.
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