Here is our usual roundup of news and events in the aid and development transparency space…
2022 Aid Transparency Index: who will we assess?
We have now completed our selection process and can announce which organisations will be assessed in the 2022 Aid Transparency Index. The Index assesses the transparency of the major aid organisations internationally, including bilateral, multilateral and philanthropic organisations that provide both grants and development finance, and that intervene in humanitarian emergencies and fund development projects.
We will assess a total of 50 organisations in the 2022 Index, three more than we assessed in 2020. We will be introducing eight new organisations and losing five. We have decided to assess the public and private sector portfolios of multilateral development banks separately in 2022. We hope this will incentivise publication of more and better data for the private sector activities of these banks and will also allow us to compare transparency between portfolios. Alex Tilley explains what changes we’ve made and why, and what the organisations included in the Index can expect. Full details of our methodology can be found in our technical paper.
Now is the time for the international community to increase the transparency and effectiveness of gender equality work
If we are to get a clear picture of gender equality funding and its impact, donors and data platforms should improve the transparency of gender funding flows, according to our new research. As the world’s spotlight is on the $40 billion pledged to address gender inequalities at the Generation Equality Forum, ‘Making Gender Financing More Transparent’ finds that many barriers currently exist for those who want to use data to track funding or support the programming, coordination and evaluation of their gender equality work. Our report suggests that to overcome these barriers, and to reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’, donors and data platforms should aim to improve three key areas: data capacity, data engagement and data quality.
The research was conducted by Publish What You Fund and Friends of Publish What You Fund. The report is available online, as a pdf download or executive summary. This blog by Sally Paxton and George Ingram summarises the three key takeaways from the research.
In case you missed it, you can catch up on the launch event of ‘Making Gender Financing More Transparent’ which was hosted by the Brookings Institution. As well as a presentation from Sally Paxton, the event featured great insights and some new commitments from our panel:
- Amanda Austin, Equal Measures 2030
- Tenzin Dolker, Association for Women’s Rights in Development
- Louise Holt, Global Affairs Canada
- Michele Sumilas, U.S. Agency for International Development
- Marijn Wiersma, CDC Group Plc
- Lisa Williams, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Webinar: DFI Transparency Initiative findings on financial intermediaries
As part of our DFI Transparency Initiative, we will be holding a webinar on Wednesday 11th August (3pm BST, 10am EDT), presenting the findings from our fifth work stream on the transparency of the financial intermediary investments of development finance institutions (DFIs).
Lending to, or investing in, financial intermediaries has become an increasingly important aspect of DFI activity in recent years. For some DFIs it represents over half of their total investment portfolio. A lack of transparency, however, means that it is unclear where a great deal of this development finance ends up, the development impacts that it has, and the environment and social risks that it holds for project affected communities. Join our webinar to hear what we learned about the transparency of these DFI investments.
Women’s economic empowerment survey
Our Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) initiative is working to build the evidence to help secure greater and fairer access to funding opportunities. To support this work, we are launching a survey on Women’s Economic Empowerment, Financial Inclusion and Empowerment Collectives in Kenya, Nigeria and Bangladesh.
We are calling on NGOs, INGOs, women’s rights organisations and feminist movements working in these areas to please take a few minutes to fill out the survey, and/or to share with your contacts. The survey will help us to understand your organisation or movement’s funding opportunities and challenges, how you engage with donors and where you see gaps in funding for your work on WEE, Women’s Financial Inclusion or Women Empowerment Collectives. The survey is available in English, Swahili and Bangla.
Supporting UK transparency and gender equality in stock exchanges
Our team regularly contributes to partner initiatives that help to further transparency in aid and development finance. This month two members of the team took on additional roles:
Jamie Holton, who has been leading work on our Gender Financing Project, recently joined the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges’ new Gender Equality Advisory Group. The goal of the group is to update guidance on how stock exchanges can advance gender equality. This guidance is expected to be published next March.
Meanwhile, Elma Jenkins is taking on the role of Co-chair of Bond’s Transparency Working Group. Alongside Verity Outram, she will be leading the group’s work to share learning and understanding on transparency and accountability among UK-based international development and humanitarian organisations. The group has recently provided a submission to the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan which is currently undergoing a five-year review on commitments for aid transparency.
Here’s a selection of news stories we’ve been reading over the last few weeks:
This Eurodad blog examines Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) – supplementary reserve assets created by the International Monetary Fund. It looks at the allocation of SDRs and the mechanisms that could be used to distribute unused SDRs to low and middle income countries. It proposes five key principles for fair and transparent channelling of SDRs.
Human Rights Watch has produced a report on the Kenyan government’s COVID cash transfer programme, concluding that it was ‘riddled with irregularities’ and failed to protect most of the vulnerable people hit by the economic fallout from the pandemic. The report says that political leaders funneled some funds to friends, relatives, and supporters, that enrolled participants received less money than promised, and the implementation of the programme was shrouded in secrecy.
Following the Generation Equality Forum (GEF), Data2X has launched the commitments microsite – tracking all gender data commitments made in support of Generation Equality for the next five years and showcasing them on a dedicated microsite. Data 2X has also put out a blog which looks beyond the GEF, discussing how to turn rhetoric into investments.
The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) has published a blog on its work to increase and advance its own transparency, following their interactions with our DFI Transparency Initiative. GIF has added a table on its website detailing all investments in its portfolio including investment objectives, funding levels, financing instruments used, expected impact, and sector codes. It has also summarised the projected impact of GIF investments and retrospective self-evaluations completion reports, and sought to better explain its investment process.
This article in The Cable looks at CSOs in Nigeria that pro-actively demonstrate commendable levels of transparency and accountability, amid many cases of the mis-use of development assistance.
In its latest Insights piece, Donor Tracker provides an overview of what the largest OECD DAC donor countries have done since the emergence of COVID-19 to elevate pandemic preparedness globally. It analyses how donors have contributed to global pandemic preparedness since March 2020 and offers recommendations on how donors can overcome the remaining challenges to achieving global pandemic preparedness.