Welcome to the latest monthly roundup of news from the world of aid and development transparency. This newsletter features the results of the 2023 DFI Transparency Index and a chance to have your say in the review of the Aid Transparency Index methodology. We begin with an invitation to our next exciting launch event…
Metrics matter for locally led development
Wednesday March 1st, 10:00-11:30AM EST, 3:00-4:30pm GMT
Register to join the launch online or in-person in Washington DC.
In November 2021, USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced that 25% of the agency’s funding would go to local actors by 2025. Publish What You Fund, with the support of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) and its members, has undertaken detailed research to establish an independent, credible, and replicable baseline to measure and track funding for the 25% commitment; the research then compares our approach to USAID’s announced approach. Our findings show that the differences in measurement approaches significantly change the funding amounts USAID will need to provide to local organizations to reach the 25% target.
On March 1st, MFAN and Publish What You Fund will co-host an event to discuss the findings of this research and its policy implications, underscoring why these metrics matter. In addition to opening remarks from MFAN co-chair Tessie San Martin (CEO of FHI 360), the event will include a presentation of the research, a panel discussion with stakeholders in the US and Global South, and Q&A.
DFI Transparency Index reveals a lack of transparency among leading development finance institutions
We’re pleased to share the results of the 2023 DFI Transparency Index, the first ranking of the world’s leading Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). Key findings include:
- Overall, DFIs are not transparent enough. This is especially the case for non-sovereign (private sector) operations.
- DFIs are not providing evidence of impact, data regarding mobilisation, or proof of accountability to communities.
- For many DFIs basic information about their investments is not publicly available.
- But progress is being made – use of and adherence to the standards laid out in the DFI Transparency Tool are guiding the efforts of leading DFIs who have improved their disclosure over the last two years.
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) was ranked as the most transparent non-sovereign DFI, scoring 54.4 out of 100.
- The Asian Development Bank (AsDB) was ranked as the most transparent DFI in the analysis of sovereign (public sector) operations, scoring 75.9 out of 100.
The Index report makes five main recommendations for DFIs to improve their transparency:
- Report impact data
- Publish disaggregated mobilisation data
- Improve transparency around assurance of disclosure to project affected people
- Disclose high risk financial intermediary sub-investments
- Increase standardisation of data
Catch up on the launch event
The DFI Transparency Index was launched at a hybrid event hosted by the Brookings Institution on `25 January 2023, featuring a keynote address from Margaret Kuhlow, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Development Finance and Policy at US Treasury. You can watch the event recording below:
Have your say in the Aid Transparency Index methodology review
We’re reviewing the assessment method we’ll use for the 2024 Aid Transparency Index. Our aim is to ensure the Index remains up to date with current aid transparency practices and continues to reflect the areas of aid transparency that are most important for those using the data. This blog from Elma Jenkins sets out the review process and how you can get involved. We’d like to hear from those publishing and using aid and development data – please provide any technical or general comments through our written survey, which is open until 1st March.
The transparency of the UK’s development finance institution
Publish What You Fund’s Paul James recently gave evidence to the UK’s International Development Committee hearing on the UK’s strategy towards DFIs. Paul provided evidence on the transparency of British International Investment (BII) – the UK’s development finance institution. You can watch a recording of the meeting and see a transcript here.
Here’s a quick roundup of other news and publications we’ve been reading over the last few weeks:
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released final 2021 figures for official development assistance (ODA) by members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) ODA totaled US$ 185.9 billion in 2021, equivalent to 0.33% of DAC members’ combined gross national income (GNI). The 2021 total marks an 8.5% rise in real terms compared to 2020 due mostly to COVID-19 support, particularly in the form of vaccine donations. Total 2021 ODA included US$ 181.4 billion in the form of grants, loans to sovereign entities, debt relief and contributions to multilateral institutions; US$ 1.2 billion to development-oriented private sector instrument (PSI) vehicles and US$ 3.3 billion in the form of net loans and equities to private companies operating in ODA-eligible countries.
Transparency International has released the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which finds that 95% of countries have made little or no progress since 2017. The CPI global average remained unchanged at 43 for the eleventh year in a row, and it finds that more than two-thirds of countries have a serious problem with corruption, scoring below 50 (out of 100).
The OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data has released the State of Open Humanitarian Data 2023, showing the highest levels yet for data availability across priority humanitarian operations and strong demand for data about the world’s largest humanitarian crises. The analysis is based on the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) Data Grids, and focuses on 25 locations with humanitarian response plans.
The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) will be holding its next Members’ Assembly and Community Exchange in Copenhagen over 13-16 March. Some events will also be accessible online. Our team will be there – you can find out more and register here.