Publish What You Fund/The Global Campaign for Aid Transparency: Aid Transparency Index 2018

The aid transparency movement began in earnest a decade ago when major international donors committed to improve the effectiveness of their aid, in part by making it transparent. The objective was to support informed decision-making, as well as improve development outcomes and accountability to citizens everywhere. Since then, the international transparency agenda has picked up momentum. Transparency on aid and development finance activities has been included in multiple high-level processes involving the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the United States and others.

To help fulfil development needs and ambitious global objectives, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), more and better aid and development finance than ever is required, especially at a time when some donors’ budgets are being reduced. The involvement of a growing number of aid and development actors presents a transparency challenge.

The 2018 Aid Transparency Index shows how these actors are performing individually and as a whole. Overall, the 2018 results show much to be positive about. For example, 93% of Index organisations are now publishing in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard, which means more timely aid and development data is being made openly available than ever before. Around half of the organisations are publishing essential information on their aid and development spending on a monthly basis. Compare this to just a quarter reported in the 2016 Index.

However, the 2018 Index also reveals serious data shortfalls. These need to be addressed for the aid transparency movement to fully deliver and provide donors, partner country governments and CSOs with information that can be used to improve development outcomes. To help ensure that transparency commitments are honoured and to be able to see a more complete picture of aid and development finance, development organisations need to be transparent on all aspects of development work, including on whether objectives are met. Publish What You Fund strongly urges organisations – in both the private and the public sector – to share detailed, timely, comprehensive and comparable data so that this can happen.

Key highlights and findings

Unprecedented amounts of timely aid and development data are available in an open and comparable format.
In order to improve effectiveness and be accountable to their constituencies, all aid and development actors, regardless of their business model or size, can share quality information on their work.
Too many organisations fail on basic data quality issues.
The pieces of information critical to assess project and donor impact are the most difficult to find – if available at all.
Some major international donors are not pulling their weight.

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