Aid Transparency

Transparency is central to accountability and aid delivery. It strengthens democracy through developing citizens and civil society organisations that hold their governments and donors accountable.

Accountability around aid is generally quite weak, with very few donors making information about their projects publicly available; few providing limited real time information about where they are spending their aid and on what; and conditionality still applied in very un-transparent ways.

UKAN has been lobbying for greater transparency around aid and supported the campaign to establish the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) at the Accra conference in 2008. IATI aims to establish general standards for the provision of information to the public by donors. These standards have not been finalised yet ; 22 developing countries have endorsed it whilst 15 developed countries have signed it to date.

UK Aid Transparency

In 2013, the Department for International Development (DFID) launched its new website for tracking UK aid. DFID is also one of the original sponsors of IATI, is providing much of the support to the IATI’s ongoing work and has formally committed to the process.

Although it is much easier to search and edit data on the new Development Tracker site and data is up to date, the tracker still needs a few improvements:

  • Questions remain over the completeness of the data provided with some completed projects only having spent a small fraction of their budget
  • The tracker does not provide sufficient information as regards the reasoning behind the exclusion of certain information in project documents (exemptions)
  • Missing information on aid effectiveness

The UK Aid Transparency Report Card 2012 by Publish What You Fund in partnership with UKAN draws on the findings of the 2012 Aid Transparency Index to explore the state of the UK’s aid transparency across four UK government departments and the UK’s development finance institution, CDC, and asks how embedded the transparency agenda is beyond DFID.

For more information on transparency:

Publish What You Fund – The global campaign for aid transparency
International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)
DFID’s Development Tracker