The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation) is the largest private foundation in the world. It provides grants to support initiatives in education, global health and development and community giving in the Pacific Northwest. It became an IATI member in 2013 and published its first IATI data in March 2014.
The Gates Foundation remains in the ‘fair’ category.
The Gates Foundation publishes less than quarterly to the IATI Registry.
All organisational planning indicators, except for country strategies, are published in the IATI Standard. However, the organisation strategy provided did not meet the definition. Country strategies can only be found sometimes on the organisation’s website.
The Gates Foundation scores slightly below average for the finance and budgets component. Capital spend, disbursements and expenditures, commitments, project budgets and total organisation budget are published in a comparable format. No forward-looking disaggregated budgets are available. Neither are project budget documents published.
The Gates Foundation performs well on providing basic information on projects. It publishes all indicators of the project attributes component in the comparable IATI format. However, the sub-national location information provided did not meet the definition of this indicator and is not published in other formats.
Within the joining-up development data, five indicators are published to the IATI Registry: aid type, flow type, finance type, tied aid status and tenders. The tenders provided were not specific to individual activities but are consistently published in other formats. Contracts are sometimes made available on the organisation’s website and no information is provided for conditions.
Within the performance component, the Gates Foundation only scores on objectives. The data provided to the IATI Registry for this indicator did not fulfil the definition but the information is made available in other formats. Reviews and evaluations, results as well as pre-project impact appraisals are not published at all.
- The Gates Foundation continues to publish to version 1.03 of the IATI standard – one of the oldest versions. The Gates Foundation should update to a newer version of the Standard so as to take full advantage of the benefits it offers.
- The Gates Foundation should aim for quarterly, if not monthly, publication.
- It should improve its levels of transparency to include information on sub-national locations, on procurement as well as on performance-related indicators such as pre-project impact appraisals, reviews and evaluations, and results. These should also be made open and comparable in the IATI Standard.
- To demonstrate the impact of transparency on development work, the Gates Foundation should take responsibility to promote the use of the data they publish: internally, to promote coordination and effectiveness; and externally, to explore online and in-person feedback loops, including at country-level.