Welcome to our monthly roundup of news from the aid and development transparency world.
How to track aid flows to local organisations
Many donors have adopted targets to direct more funding to local organisations. But past efforts to track funding flows have often struggled to agree on a definition of local. In this blog, Gary Forster presents an approach we’ve been testing for six months. Using the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as an example, we’ve been working to understand, interpret and present existing data in a way that enables stakeholders to undertake analysis and track funding based on their own definitions of local. Gary sets out what we found and the potential to scale the approach.
Following the money: using data to track development spending in Nigeria
In the run up to the launch of the 2022 Aid Transparency Index, Hamzat Lawal discusses how Connected Development works with marginalised communities to track funding and monitor development projects. He reflects on whether international donors, and those inputting the aid data, know that teams of community volunteers are consuming and using the same data to ensure their projects are being implemented effectively.
Which organisations will feature in our new DFI Transparency Index?
We have just commenced work on a new DFI Transparency Index, which will assess the transparency of some of the world’s leading bilateral and multilateral Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). In this blog, Farzana Ahmed sets out the timeline and process, how this index differs from the Aid Transparency Index, and which DFIs we’ll be assessing and ranking.
Here’s a selection of news stories we’ve been reading over the last few weeks:
Development Initiatives (DI) has examined the impact of COVID-19 on international funding for gender-related humanitarian programming, and found that global efforts to support gender equality and support women and girls in humanitarian crises are falling short. Key findings include:
- Despite gender-specific funding rising, it is not keeping pace with rapidly increasing needs
- Commitments to localise funding have not materialised
- Lack of good reporting is preventing donors and other humanitarian actors from effectively meeting the needs of women and girls in crisis
In order to improve the transparency of gender funding, DI recommends that aid data platforms must strengthen gender markers.
A new report from Transparency International reviews the governance frameworks of five climate funds which together have US$40 billion in pledged commitments for climate action investment. Transparency International assessed the multilateral funds (and their requirements for their implementing entities) in four areas of governance – integrity, accountability, transparency and methods for assessing policy effectiveness. The report states that by actively and explicitly bringing integrity, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and zero tolerance of corruption into climate funding and action, multilateral funds can maximise the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation programmes.
Multiple aid agencies often try to support change in the same places, at the same time, and with similar actors. An Institute of Development Studies policy briefing found three distinct categories of ‘interaction effects’: synergy, parallel play, and disconnect from research conducted on recent aid programmes that overlapped in Mozambique, Nigeria, and Pakistan. The paper explores how using an ‘interaction effects’ lens in practice could inform aid agency strategies and programming.
The International Budget Partnership will be launching this year’s Open Budget Survey results on 31st May. Since 2008, transparency scores have increased 20%, but broader accountability remains weak.
In this blog, USAID sets out why it has jointly re-launched (with the US Department of State) ForeignAssistance.gov – a one-stop-shop for information on the US Government’s work in international development and humanitarian assistance. It discusses why a co-ordinated, transparent approach to foreign assistance is critical. By better understanding which countries and sectors are recipients of foreign assistance, USAID, its partners, and stakeholders can reduce overlap, collaborate more effectively, and work more cohesively to tackle today’s most pressing global challenges.
The Donor Tracker’s latest Insight examines the impact of the Ukraine crisis and refugee costs on Official Development Assistance (ODA). It assesses how Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donor governments have re-prioritised spending in three ways (support for Ukrainian refugees, increased defence spending, and preparation to support Ukraine’s reconstruction) and how it might change future spending patterns.
In an opinion piece for Devex, Joan Larrea of Convergence details five things that could happen if blended finance were to scale. She says there would be more transparency around aid flows, because the transactions they support will start appearing in companies’ financials. This could lead to a feedback loop of greater transparency in decision making by donors, at least in their blended transactions.