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Aid Transparency Index: ‘publish what you fund’

Summary of editorial1

On October 8th 2014, ‘Publish What You Fund’ – a not for profit organisation2 - published an ‘Aid Transparency Index’ measuring aid transparency amongst the world’s leading development organisations. During the past decade, at a series of High Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness in Paris in 2005, Accra in 2008 and Busan in 2011, donors have committed to improve transparency and to publish comparable, comprehensive and timely information, according to the International Aid Transparency Initiative, which provides a practical approach and standards to make data about aid spending accessible. 

The 2014 Aid Transparency Index assesses transparency among 68 aid-donor organisations. Overall commitment to transparency and the information published at organisation level and for individual activities are assessed through 39 indicators. Organisations are then ranked and categorised into subgroups ranging from very good to very poor. The UN Development Programme, the UK Department of International Development, and the US Millennium Challenge Corporation rank as the top three donors. GAVI (Global Vaccine Alliance) ranks 4th, the Global Fund 10th, UNICEF 14th and the Gates Foundation 23rd. China takes last place. 

According to the report, “progress on implementation continues to be slow and uneven”. The report draws specific attention to the fact that more than half of the organisations assessed performed poorly, including major donors such as the French Agency for Development, the German Foreign Office and Norway. Even when published, data about development aid are still difficult to access and use, with most of the information not presented in accessible files such as Excel spreadsheets. 

Show footnotes

1 Extracts from Lancet editorial. www.thelancet.com vol 384, October 18th, 2014. Pp 1402

2 http://www.publishwhatyoufund.org/

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Aid Transparency Index: ‘publish what you fund’. Field Exchange 49, March 2015. p54. www.ennonline.net/fex/49/transparency

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