We’ve been analysing the transparency of private aid contractors. These organisations handle billions of dollars of aid money, yet the largest players are almost completely un-transparent. This limits both accountability and the scope for analysis of international aid flows. We take a deep dive into the transparency of two of these companies, Chemonics and Adam Smith International, and provide clear policy recommendations to help improve the visibility of the aid that flows through them.
USAID has just provided a detailed update on its goal to direct 25% of its funding to local actors by 2025. Earlier this year, Publish What You Fund investigated the measurement of this 25% target and concluded that the choice of methodology could determine whether more than US$1.4 billion of additional funding is channeled to local actors each year. So we have been taking a close look at USAID’s progress report and the measures used.
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, remains 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 blog, Sally Paxton summarises what our exploratory analysis has shown, and how our new methodology can help to track progress towards locally led development.
Following the launch of the 2022 Aid Transparency Index, Sally Paxton and George Ingram reflect on the performance of the top US agencies, the progress that has been made on transparency and the importance of using data to improve future development outcomes.
In a world where we are facing such dire news, we were delighted to see an outcome that shows that sometimes good government prevails. This concerns the resolution of an issue that we – and others – have devoted considerable ink and effort, which we coined “the dueling dashboards.”
The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) recently invited public comments on its draft transparency policy and draft policy on public engagement by the DFC Board of Directors. The draft policies are a step in the right direction, but additional actions can be taken to improve the transparency and accessibility of the DFC’s data. George Ingram and Sally Paxton highlight steps that could help the DFC reach its commitment to be the gold standard for transparency among development finance institutions.