Welcome to our regular review of news from the aid and development transparency space.
Greater transparency for development finance institutions
Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 10:00 – 11:30am EDT, 2:00 – 3:30pm GMT
Development finance is critical to global development, including achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, low-income countries’ recovery from the pandemic, and the commitment of $100 billion per year for climate finance. But to know whether finance and development goals are being met, and to keep institutions on track, we need better information on financial flows and how they impact development. Despite the scale of financing by development finance institutions (DFIs), few share detailed information on their private sector portfolios. This makes it difficult to assess their development impact and to foster learning within this space.
Join our virtual event, hosted by the Brookings Institution, bringing together DFIs, civil society organisations, the private sector, and shareholders to engage with key issues on DFI transparency. We’ll be launching our DFI Transparency Tool and research report “Advancing DFI Transparency – The rationale and roadmap for better impact, accountability and markets.” The panel will discuss recommendations for greater global disclosure and how donors can better engage with national stakeholders and improve the publication of their development financing. We will be joined by:
- Rob Mosbacher, Former President and CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
- Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen, Vice President, Office of Development Policy, US Development Finance Corporation
- Nadia Daar, Head of Washington DC office, Oxfam International
- Nadia Nikolova, Lead Portfolio Manager, Allianz
- Rayyan Hassan, CEO, NGO Forum on ADB
- Tom Edmonston-Low, Director, Board and Institutional Affairs, Office of the Secretary General, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- Gary Forster, CEO, Publish What You Fund
- Moderator: George Ingram, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Call for proposals: data visualisation specialist
Do you have experience in transforming data into interesting visuals to communicate complex ideas? Have you worked on feminist and/or international development projects? If that sounds like you, then you might be the data visualisation specialist we are looking for to work on an exciting project aimed at increasing the transparency of funding for women’s economic empowerment. We are looking to contract an experienced data visualisation specialist to work with our team to create compelling visuals for a range of advocacy materials aimed at a diverse audience.
Here’s a selection of news stories we’ve been reading over the last few weeks:
CONCORD has released AidWatch 2021, which monitors the quantity and quality of EU Official Development Assistance (ODA). It highlights the EU’s failure to meet aid targets, the growing need for ODA, and the patchy response from EU countries. In 2020, the EU’s ODA was 0.50% of its GNI – an increase from 0.42% in 2019. However, this increase was a result of the EU’s economy shrinking due to the global pandemic. The report is critical of Team Europe, the EU’s response to COVID-19 in partner countries, saying the entire approach lacks transparency, civil society has so far been largely shut out of the process, and partner country ownership seems scant. It also reports that Team Europe has reinforced EU donor governments’ tendency to play politics with aid.
The OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data has created a dashboard for users to visualise, explore and analyse the published International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) data related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes financial transactions from 13,780 reported aid activities from January 2020 until the present (the data is updated daily). The Centre has created a data story to complement the funding dashboard, which highlights that, as of September 2021, US$134 billion in commitments and US$86 billion in spending had been directed towards 200 recipient countries and territories. As part of this work, the Centre also produced a report setting out recommendations for improvements to the IATI standard, guidance and governance in order to reach the goal of aid transparency.
Eurodad has analysed new climate finance data released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It shows that total climate finance in 2019 amounted to US$79.6 billion, falling short of the US$100 billion target. The analysis highlights that while adaptation finance grew, public climate finance for Small Island Developing States fell in 2019 as did bilateral public climate finance. Public loans (concessional and non-concessional) accounted for 71 per cent of climate finance in 2019. Eurodad points out that data is missing on the state of gender-responsive climate finance and on finance to address losses and damages.
AidData has released a new Global Chinese Development Finance dataset, which includes 13,427 Chinese development projects worth US$843 billion. An accompanying report which analyses the data before and after the introduction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) finds:
- China is now outspending the US and other major donors on a more than 2-to-1 basis.
- Since the BRI was introduced, China has maintained a 31-to-1 ratio of loans to grants, and its loans tend to be on less generous terms than loans from OECD-DAC (Development Assistance Committee) and multilateral creditors.
- China has transitioned from lending to central government institutions to lending to state-owned companies, state-owned banks, special purpose vehicles, joint ventures, and private sector institutions – the majority of which do not appear on their government balance sheets.
- Chinese debt burdens are substantially larger than many previously understood. 42 countries now have levels of public debt exposure to China in excess of 10% of GDP.
- 35% of the BRI infrastructure project portfolio has encountered major implementation problems—such as corruption scandals, labour violations, environmental hazards, and public protests.