News roundup – How much USAID funding goes to local organisations, and the latest research on women’s economic empowerment funding
Introducing our new research programme to track USAID funding to local organisations
In November 2021, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power threw down a challenge for her organisation: by 2025, 25% of USAID’s funding would go to local organisations. The details of how to measure this important metric, however, remain an open question. Given our experience with open data sources, we decided to try to develop a replicable methodology using available data that USAID already publishes. In this new blog, Sally Paxton summarises what our exploratory analysis has shown, and how our new methodology can help to track progress towards locally led development.
Where is the funding for women’s economic empowerment in Ethiopia, Pakistan, and Uganda?
Last month we launched three new reports – assessing national funding for women’s economic empowerment in Ethiopia, Pakistan and Uganda. We have worked with public expenditure experts (Three B Consult, Omar Asghar Khan Foundation, and Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group) to examine national and sub-national funding for women’s economic empowerment as well as women’s financial inclusion and women’s empowerment collectives over the last five years. These are the latest outputs from our Women’s Economic Empowerment project, which is building evidence to inform better investment decisions. We hope our new reports provide useful insights for policy makers and gender advocates to support better funding approaches to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
The reports, which also include recommendations for improving the transparency of women’s economic empowerment funding, can be downloaded below:
- Feasibility Study – Assessing National Funding for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Ethiopia
- Assessing National Funding for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Pakistan
- Assessing National Funding for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Uganda
How is aid data being used in Liberia?
Augustus Flomo, Deputy Minister at the Government of Liberia’s Ministry of Finance & Development Planning, provides great insights into why and how his government uses aid and development data. Speaking at the launch of the 2022 Aid Transparency Index, he explains how aid transparency is helping decision-making in Liberia.
Which groups of women are funders supporting?
There is well-established evidence of the numerous and intersecting discriminations women face. What is less clear is how funding reaches different groups of women and if there are groups not being reached. In this blog, Afraim Karim and Dorcas Mutheu dive into the data gathered through our women’s economic empowerment project, to examine what it tells us about which groups of women are being targeted by international donors in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Nigeria.
The next challenge
Sally Paxton, our US Representative, recently spoke to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) about why we used IATI data to track funding for women’s economic empowerment, and what data publishers could do to improve the usefulness of available information.
Here is a brief roundup of what we’ve been reading over the past few weeks:
A new review by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has examined how the UK’s aid transparency practices have evolved since 2015. It warns that a recent decline in aid transparency risks sending a signal that the UK’s commitment to excellence in development cooperation is waning. Minimal transparency around the recent aid budget reductions, the lack of information on aid spending priorities for individual countries and the lack of a full Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) departmental budget for 2022-23 are among the issues it raises. ICAI calls for the FCDO to maintain a clear commitment to aid transparency to strengthen aid effectiveness and accountability. It makes a number of recommendations, including for FCDO to commit to achieving ‘very good’ in the 2024 Aid Transparency Index.
IATI will host its fourth ‘Virtual Community Exchange’ (VCE4) on 10 November (13:30 – 18:00 UTC). The VCE4 will be organised on Zoom and is open and free to anyone from the IATI community. It offers a space for shared learning, to spark discussions or showcase flagship projects on using IATI data and advocating for transparency in development cooperation. You can now register, or express interest in hosting a session, here.
Oxfam’s new report, Unaccountable Accounting finds the World Bank’s reported US$17.2 billion climate finance FY2020 portfolio could be off by as much as US$7 billion. As the world’s largest multilateral provider of climate finance, accounting for 56 percent of the total flow from all multilateral development banks combined, it says the lack of transparency is alarming and that poor disclosure may be hiding discrepancies. Oxfam is calling on the Bank to disclose its climate finance assessments, including evidence that supports its calculations, and to begin public reporting in a standard and consistent manner through a trackable database.
Transparency and Accountability Initiative and Global Integrity have launched the series Effective Data Use: Lessons from Data for Accountability Projects. The series draws lessons from partner supported projects in Nigeria and Colombia deploying datasets ranging from procurement to mining royalties to stolen assets. It includes recommendations for improving the impact of data for accountability programming.
The Development Policy Centre has just released its 2022 transparency audit of the Australian government aid programme. Although the aid programme performs quite well in some areas, most aspects of aid transparency have deteriorated since 2019, and overall transparency is now very low. It describes the current state of Australian aid transparency as inadequate, but says that with political will and changes to the process of managing aid, the decline can be reversed.
The Data Values campaign has launched the #DataValues Manifesto, which calls on governments, companies, civil society organisations, donors, and others to make positive changes in how data is funded, designed, managed, and used. It includes a focus on creating cultures of transparency, data sharing and use.
WeProsper, a global coalition for women’s economic empowerment, has released a new report synthesising evidence on care services to inform advocacy campaigns and policy recommendations. WeProsper makes the case for policymakers to take action on and invest in care, as they weigh the full range of COVID-19 recovery measures and other competing investment priorities.