Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, urged the EU to adopt an Aid Transparency Guarantee, along the lines of the UK Aid Transparency Guarantee, while speaking at the European Development Days on 6 December. The Guarantee would commit EU countries to providing easy-to-use, comparable information on their aid flows and encouraging international partners to do the same.
Andrew Mitchell said: “Britain is leading the way on clear and transparent aid spending, ensuring taxpayers can see how UK funding is directly helping people. As a recipient of British aid money, I want to see the same standards adopted by the European Commission, with a greater commitment to openness.
“We know that well-spent aid saves lives and the EU has many successful projects but in economically difficult times it is important that taxpayers across the continent are able to see the difference it is making to the world’s poorest people.”
DFID leads the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) which provides a mechanism for donors to share aid information in a consistent and comparable way. The Commission and several EU Member States have already signed up to IATI, which would form part of the implementation of an EU-wide Aid Transparency Guarantee. Transparency will also help civil society and citizens in developing countries to track what aid is available to their communities and whether it is delivering the intended results.
Priorities for the EU development policy
Andrew Mitchell made this announcement at the European Development Days, the leading European forum on international development which took place in Brussels on 6 and 7 December. The fifth year of the Development Days drew in over 5,000 people, including Presidents, parliamentarians, representatives of international institutions, local authorities, NGOs, business leaders, researchers, journalists, artists and students from North and South.
The event was also an opportunity for Andrew Mitchell to set out his vision for the future of EU development policy with a particular focus on growth and the role of the private sector and to call on the External Action Service to fully embrace the development agenda.
Social protection: the “missing piece” in the development puzzle?
DFID co-organised two panels on gender equality and private sector and took part in the launch of the European Report on Development which this year deals with social protection for inclusive development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Welcoming the report, Anthony Smith, head of international relations at DFID, one of the seven EU Member States funding the initiative, said: “Social protection is about getting resources directly to poor people themselves and putting them at the centre of the development process. We welcome the recommendations to enhance and improve EU support to social protection in Africa.”
All debates are available on http://eudevdays.eu/
Katie Davies and Lucy Laycock, the UK finalists of the Young Reporters Against Poverty contest produced live coverage of the European Development Days.