Welcome to our regular roundup of news from the world of aid and development transparency.
Who will we assess in the 2024 Aid Transparency Index?
We are pleased to announce which aid and development organisations have been selected for inclusion in the 2024 Aid Transparency Index. The Index assesses the transparency of the world’s major aid and development organisations. These include bilateral, multilateral and philanthropic organisations that provide both grants and development finance, and that intervene in humanitarian emergencies and fund development projects. This year, as in the 2022 Index, we will be assessing 50 organisations. We will include the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, and the US Department of Health and Human Services for the first time.
In this blog, Alex Tilley and Elma Jenkins outline the selection criteria, provide the full list of organisations to be assessed, and set out the timescale for data collection and analysis over the coming year. They also explain why we’re looking into private aid contractors and exploring whether they should be included in the Index.
2024 Aid Transparency Index methodology – what’s new?
We recently opened our Aid Transparency Index methodology to public consultation. In this blog we describe how we consulted stakeholders and the resulting changes to the methodology for the 2024 Index. Our changes aim to reflect the evolving needs of data users who want to better track aid recipients down the delivery chain and ensure that the Index responds to the publishing practices of aid and development organisations. An updated version of the Aid Transparency Index Technical Paper, which contains the full methodology for the Index, can be downloaded here and with tracked changes here.
Reflections on the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact: more mobilisation promised, but will we ever know if it has been delivered?
The mobilisation of private finance for development outcomes was a central part of the discussions during June’s Paris summit, with more emphasis placed on the need to mobilise “at scale”. However, without improved measurement and increased transparency, it will be impossible to tell whether or not these new commitments deliver on their promises. Paul James looks into what has been promised and why we need to improve mobilisation transparency if we are to really understand how private finance can be used most effectively for development and climate outcomes.
Here’s a quick roundup of other news and publications we’ve been reading over the last few weeks:
Donor Tracker has published a climate adaptation commitment tracker, covering ten donors. The tracker aims to provide timely information and tackle a lack of transparency and accountability. Work is underway to expand this to also cover pledges relating to mitigation and loss and damage.
The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has released its draft transparency policy and is seeking public comment. It’s a good opportunity to feedback on the principles that guide DFC’s public disclosure of programmatic and project-related information, as well as the scope and type of information and data that it routinely discloses. Any comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 October 2023.
The Policy Center for the New South, the Center for Global Development, and the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee are jointly organising a High-Level Seminar on Perspectives of the Global South on MDB Reform on 11-12 September in Rabat, Morocco. The conference aims to amplify the voices and input of diverse perspectives on the MDB reform agenda, particularly recipient countries who borrow from the MDBs. Publish What You Fund’s CEO Gary Forster will be speaking at one of the sessions: Private capital mobilization: reinventing the MDB role.
2X Global is consulting on its new certification methodology. You can share your views on future standards for gender lens investors. The deadline for feedback has been extended to 13 September. In case you missed it, here’s our working paper, which sets out how we’d like 2X Global to incorporate transparency and accountability into the certification process and improve disclosure practices. We think this is vital for understanding whether gender commitments are being met, and the impact of gender equality finance.
This Bond article by BRAC’s Melisa Yorgancioglu looks at the UK’s approach to localisation, commitments made by Development Assistance Committee members, and the lack of transparency on how much UK funding goes to local CSOs. It calls for the UK government to:
- Define localisation, locally led development and local organisations
- Track and publish easily accessible data on funding flows to local CSOs
- Ring fence a percentage of funding for local partners
CAFOD has analysed World Bank materials, including policies, project documents and data sets, to find out what conditions the Bank has placed on its loans, over several decades and multiple countries in Africa. It concludes that the World Bank’s lending promotes a model of agricultural development that benefits large-scale agribusiness at the expense of some of the world’s poorest smallholder farmers. CAFOD is calling on the World Bank to change its lending approach and change how it measures success – based on reducing poverty and increasing food security.
The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has announced an anticipated 20% increase in FCDO ODA, from £6.9 bn in FY2022-23 to £8.3 bn in FY2024-25. Most of the increase is planned for FY2024-25, with a marginal increase expected in FY2023-24. Many budget lines cut in FY2021-22 and FY2022-23 are facing additional cuts in FY2023-24 before eventually increasing in FY2024-25.
Australia has published a new international development policy which includes a commitment to re-establish a focus on planning, performance and transparency. This DevPolicy blog examines the new policy which does not promise any new money nor a new DFI, but does focus on climate risks, locally led development, gender equality and disability inclusion.
The Centre for Humanitarian Data has developed a product roadmap for the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), to create new opportunities for faster access to reliable data and insight about humanitarian crises. Work to improve sophistication and automation will take place over the next two years, based on user research.
This Economist article summarises recent developments at the FCDO and with UK aid, including the lack of transparency and fall in the rankings of the Aid Transparency Index.
Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) has commended the US Senate’s FY24 State-Foreign Operations Bill for protecting funding and advancing aid effectiveness. the Bill provides US$60.3 bn in non-emergency funding. While this is US$1.3 bn below current levels, it is US$6 bn higher than the level in the companion bill recently approved by the House Appropriations Committee (which MFAN criticised). MFAN was pleased that USAID will continue to be required to report on progress towards its locally led development targets.