On October 1st, Publish What You Fund, the global campaign for aid transparency advocating for a significant increase in the availability and accessibility of comprehensive, timely and comparable aid information, launched the 2012 Aid Transparency Index, aiming to assess how closely donor organizations’ data conforms to best practice. 72 donor organizations are included in the Index, which looks at 43 indicators of aid transparency at the organization, country and activity level. The Index relied largely on CSO partners to survey 41 of the 43 indicators of aid transparency, based on what is available on agencies’ websites. Many of the donor organizations’ survey are signatories to International Aid Transparency Initiative (ITAI), accounting for over 75% of Official Development Finance (ODF). The basic premises of the transparency assessed by relevant partner CSO (networks) was whether information is available on the internet.
2012 Aid Transparency Index finds donor transparency is on the rise but continues to fall short of best practice. This is particularly disappointing at a time when transparency is critical to ensuring confidence in government spending. Unfortunately, the ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ groups still contain nearly half of all organizations surveyed – including some of the world’s most prominent donors, such as France and Switzerland. However, there are other donors like DG DEVCO who have started of this year to published the aid date to a common IATI standard.
The Index finds that DG Enlargement performed poorly, particularly at the country level, where support to Turkey was assessed as the country receiving largest amount of funding by the DG. DG Enlargement’s country level score, at just 14.3%, ranked 51st amongst all donors and was below the average of donors in the poor category for this level. It dropped significantly from the 58% scored in the 2011 Index, primarily because the current budget cycle ends in 2013 and no forward budget information has been published beyond that year. DG Enlargement’s score was also lower because the various different websites on which patchy information was provided (with different project codes and titles across the websites) were this year assessed to provide a highly incomplete picture of their development assistance. DG Enlargement does not systematically publsih information on aid type, description, actual expenditured, impact assesment or evaluations and results of activities at country level. DG Enlargement did not provide feedback during the survey process. The date for the assessment was provide by BCSDN and verified by Publish What You Fund.
The report urges all donors to sign and implement the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which offers a global common standard for publishing aid information. Foreign assistance published to this standard is shared openly in a timely, comprehensive, comparable and accessible way. DG Enlargement should commit to publishing to IATI, release an implementation schedule, and begin publishing in 2013.
To see all the findings of the 2012 Aid Transparency Index, please visit the website.