How donors measure up on transparency

Publish What You Fund (PWYF) — the global campaign for aid transparency — has recently launched their pilot project: the Aid Transparency Index. By tracking aid information that has been published by 58 bilateral donors and multilateral organizations, PWYF has ranked them based on their level of aid transparency. And here’s what it said:

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Source: PWYF 2011. Click to enlarge.

The results
Looking across 58 aid agencies, PWYF categorized them either as good, fair, moderate, poor or very poor based on their percentage ranking. The sad truth: none of the agencies ranked qualified for the “Good” category. The top 5 scorers on this index (and ranked as “Fair”) included the World Bank, the Global Fund, the African Development Bank, the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UK’s Department for International Development.

The conclusions
1. Most information about aid is not published and many countries surveyed did not have a systematic method of providing aid information.
2. If information is produced, it is not always made available and/or difficult to access
3. Aid transparency is achievable and other organizations should follow suit

What does this mean?
Reports like PWYF’s Aid Transparency Index underscores the clear lack of information available about development aid. Without being transparent about how much aid is available, accountability becomes an issue as countries that are aid recipients cannot budget and allocate resources effectively, and citizens cannot hold governments to account for promised resources. Both recipients and donors must be more forthcoming about the resources available and where they are going because aid effectiveness cannot be achieved without transparency underpinning it.

In addition, with the 4th High Level Forum of Aid Effectiveness coming up in Busan in only two weeks, this new index comes at an opportune time. Commitments to aid effectiveness have been piling up since the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2005. Action must be taken and Busan provides a key forum to secure commitments to delivering and using aid in a transparent and accountable way and focusing on actionable results, to improve the effectiveness of development aid.

How can you help?
Sign ONE’s Make Aid Transparent petition today.