News roundup – Why we need our independent reviewers
Watch now: Where is the money for care?
You can now catch up on our recent discussion on transformative policies to redistribute women’s unpaid care work at the NGO CSW ((Commission on the Status of Women) Forum. We shared findings from research developed in partnership with the International Centre for Research on Women that tracks international funding aimed at reducing women’s unpaid care work. Our panel reflected on these findings and discussed what more must be done to ensure that policies, budgeting and international support recognise, reduce and redistribute women’s unpaid care work. The event featured:
- Blandina Bobson, Oxfam Kenya
- Wangari Kinoti, ActionAid International
- Crystal Simeoni, Nawi – Afrifem Macroeconomic Collective
- Alex Farley-Kiwanuka, Publish What You Fund
- Althea Anderson, Hewlett Foundation
- Purity Jebor, Youth Alive! Kenya
Meet our independent reviewers
A crucial part of the Aid Transparency Index assessment is the independent reviewer role. The 2022 Index process has so far involved three months reviewing several thousand documents, large amounts of International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) data, 50 publishers and 36 independent reviewers. The reviewer role is key in ensuring we make a full and fair assessment of organisations’ data. To celebrate the voluntary contribution of our independent reviewers, Elma Jenkins interviewed four long-standing reviewers who, between them, have provided over twenty years of support to the Index: Amy Dodd from The ONE Campaign; Paola Palacios and Vania Montalvo from Transparencia Mexicana and Sarah Rose from Center for Global Development.
Here’s a selection of news stories we’ve been reading over the last few weeks:
A study from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has found that despite a global uptick in philanthropic giving, the amount of money sent by donors to organisations in other countries has gone down. According to this Devex story, researchers found that a proliferation of new laws restricting cross-border giving — partly spurred by crackdowns in countries leaning toward authoritarianism — were to blame. The Global Philanthropy Environment Index 2022 found a “restrictive environment for cross-border philanthropic flows” in one-third of the 91 countries it examined.
The National Audit Office (NAO), the UK public spending watchdog, has reviewed the way in which the UK government cut its Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget from 0.7% of Gross National Income to 0.5%. It found that the process lacked transparency and consultation, that it did not fully consider the impact on development outcomes or long-term value for money. The NAO recommends that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and HM Treasury work with other ODA spending departments on a scenario for a return to the 0.7% target and consider how to improve the transparency of ODA spending decisions.
Devex’s funding platform has recorded over US$12 billion in commitments related to Ukraine. The database shows more than US$1.5 billion of primarily humanitarian grant funding allocated by national governments and other funders between 24 February and 18 March. Additionally, it shows nearly US$11 billion in loans and other repayable finance — though not all of this will necessarily be humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile the OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data has created an interactive visual to bring together key figures and datasets related to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. It includes the number of refugees in surrounding countries, estimates for internally displaced people within Ukraine, civilian casualties, conflict events, border crossing points, and funding levels.
IATI is Seeking views on the quality and usefulness of its data and tools. It is asking all those who accessed or used IATI data in 2021 to complete a brief survey by 25 April 2022.
Following on from the story in our last newsletter, former Chief Advisor to the Secretary General of the OECD, Stephen Cutts has written a follow-up letter to the chair of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The letter, and accompanying Q&A, focuses on their “Grant Equivalence” methodology for assessing the Official Development Assistance (ODA) in loans. Cutts has included new calculations of the over-estimation of ODA for the major OECD lenders. Using DDR minus 1% as a more accurate discount rate for calculating donor effort, the over-counting for France and Germany is close to 1000%. The letter also warns of the risk of using the “grant equivalent” data in climate finance statistics.
ActionAid has analysed the first round of Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) data from European Union Institutions, identifying trends and issues that should be addressed. It acknowledges the level of transparency in the proceedings of the TOSSD Task Force, which it says put into practical effect the notion that data validation can, to some extent, be entrusted to third parties provided that the relevant information is available to all interested stakeholders on a timely basis.