Say goodbye to the dueling dashboards
In a world where we are facing such dire news, we were delighted to see an outcome that shows that sometimes good government prevails. This concerns the resolution of an issue that we – and others – have devoted considerable ink and effort, which we coined “the dueling dashboards.” Starting about six years ago, the State Department and USAID were publishing two separate official websites on US foreign assistance data, resulting in the US providing duplicative, contradictory, and often incomplete data. In this blog, US Representative Sally Paxton and George Ingram of Brookings Institution reflect on the positive outcome of a single, consolidated dashboard, and consider what should be next.
Organisations announce plans to make gender financing more transparent
At our recent launch event for the report, “Making gender financing more transparent”, prominent stakeholders, including key donors for gender equality and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), made important commitments to make international funding towards gender equality more transparent. Sally Paxton and George Ingram summarised the key topics discussed and announcements from the event in a new blog.
Gender equality policy markers: a beginner’s guide
How can the global community build on progress made at major events like the Generation Equality Forum to ensure commitments are implemented, tracked, and built upon to sustain momentum? One answer lies in harnessing existing tools for accountability. We’ve launched a new blog series with the Center for Global Development and Donor Tracker to review existing accountability tools related to funding for gender equality, and propose how we can use and improve upon available tools to push for more and better financing to achieve SDG 5. This first blog provides some examples of country, institution, funding-specific, and cross-institution tools for tracking gender-related finance.
Vacancy: Research Assistant
£22,000- 25,000 depending on experience per annum (pro rata)
Six months (with possible extension), London-based
We’re looking for a detail-oriented, numerate Research Assistant to support with data collection and research for our Women’s Economic Empowerment Project. The role will involve supporting data collection and conducting research on international funding to women’s economic empowerment and women’s financial inclusion to Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The successful candidate will support and carry out research (both qualitative and quantitative) and check data. The role will also involve outreach and networking with the open data, transparency and gender communities. Find out more here.
Save the date: DFI Transparency Tool launch
On 3rd November, we’ll be launching our DFI Transparency Tool. We have developed the tool to assess and improve the information disclosure of development finance institutions (DFIs); it is based on the research and consultation conducted by our team over the last two years, and our five working papers. In partnership with Brookings Institution, we’ll be bringing together key DFIs, private sector institutions and civil society organisations at the virtual launch event to discuss why transparency matters for development finance, and debate what change is needed. More details to follow. Read more about our work here.
THK blended finance, DFIs and commercial confidentiality
The THK (Tri Hita Karana) Working Group on Impact and Transparency held its first roundtable in June, led by our CEO Gary Forster. The discussions focused on how DFIs can balance granular impact reporting and commercial confidentiality. THK is a platform for international dialogue on blended finance that convenes a variety of stakeholders globally. The platform has produced a brief highlighting key discussion points from the roundtable, case studies and a set of recommendations for donors and DFIs.
Here’s a selection of news stories we’ve been reading over the last few weeks:
This Southern Times article looks at the allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) by the IMF. It notes that of the US$ 650 billion allocated this August, only US$ 275 billion is going to low-income countries. Some commentators have thus said while welcome, the latest SDR disbursement is “akin to treating a gunshot wound with a band aid”. The article quotes Tirivangani Mutazu of the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (Afrodad), who called for transparency in use of the allocations, asking for national parliaments to play an oversight role on how governments use the money.
The OECD is developing a new global observatory on financing water supply, sanitation and water security. As this Devex article describes, the plans for the new platform have received a mixture of reactions in relation to its use and sustainability.
In 2009, a group of countries committed to mobilise US$ 100 billion a year for climate finance by 2020. This pledge, however, does not include a determination of how responsibility for this target should be apportioned. The Overseas Development Institute argues that this makes it difficult to hold individual countries to account, and in a new working paper it suggests three metrics to assess each country’s fair share of the climate finance goal: gross national income, cumulative carbon dioxide emissions and population. Of the 23 countries responsible for providing international climate finance, only Germany, Norway and Sweden have been paying their fair share of the annual US$ 100 billion goal.
We were pleased to see this blog from UN Women and UNICEF reflecting on our gender financing research and recommendations. We look forward to working with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and data publishers to improve the transparency of gender equality data.
This Analytics Insight article explores the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an anti-corruption tool. It considers how AI might be helpful in identifying or investigating fraudulent activities in development, and the need for quality and quantity of data, as well as transparent algorithms.
IATI is holding its second Virtual Community Exchange on 12 and 13 October, featuring informal, interactive and community-led sessions. The event will provide opportunities for shared learning based on practical experiences in working with IATI data, for anyone with an interest in open data and transparency.
Donor Tracker has produced a three-part toolkit designed to provide evidence-based analysis for advocates working to increase concessional funding and policy commitments for climate change adaptation in the lead-up to COP26. It covers:
- A summary of donors’ bilateral ODA for climate change adaptation from 2010-2019
- A set of arguments for why donors should increase financing for climate change adaptation
- An overview of donor priorities and commitments in the lead-up to COP26 and beyond.
CGD has launched the Commitment to Development Index 2021, measuring the policy efforts of 40 major economies in supporting development in other countries. It focuses on the development spillover effects of policies in eight component areas: development finance, investment, migration, trade, environment, health, security, and technology. Key findings include:
- Sweden is top overall, France is second and best in the G7, Norway is third, while the UK is slipping in the rankings.
- The EU is far ahead of US on development, while China lags behind both.
Devex reports that the international COVAX programme has reduced its forecast for the number of doses of COVID-19 vaccines it expects to access by the end of the year, falling short of its goal. High-income countries have promised to donate 1 billion doses, they’ve given fewer than 15% of that number, and there have been calls for greater visibility on when doses will be available, and in what numbers, to enable the planning of delivery.
This Open Democracy article describes how Afghanistan aid projects were cut by the UK government amid a ‘total lack of transparency’.