News story

Over 130 aid donors use open data to keep track of global impact

A new report shows that over three-quarters of development assistance is now tracked via the International Aid Transparency Initiative

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Transparency increases aid effectiveness
The International Aid Transparency Initiative is working to help more people see where its aid money goes. Picture: Andrew McConnell/Panos

More aid donors than ever are opening up their data, according to the first annual report from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), released today. Over 130 aid donors are now publishing their data to IATI’s open data platform, which gives a timely, comprehensive and comparable picture of aid flows, enabling anyone to track aid funding and monitor the impact it makes.

More than three quarters of official development assistance is being reported via IATI, according to the annual report. Germany is the latest country to begin publishing its data in line with the common standards IATI encourages, which allow data to be compared and more easily understood.

In a foreword to the report, Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening, says:

Transparency of aid flows is critical to good aid delivery. It helps reduce waste, fight corruption and makes sure money gets to the people who need it most. Better information at country level is right at the heart of what the International Aid Transparency Initiative is about – empowering people on the ground to scrutinise and make better decisions.

The UK’s Department for International Development was one of the lead donors who helped set up IATI in 2008 to improve the transparency of aid and came top in last year’s aid transparency rankings. Opening up data so that it can be tracked increases its effectiveness in tackling poverty. Those publishing their data to the common standard include governments, foundations, non-governmental organisations and civil society. This video, from a previous campaign on aid transparency, explains how IATI increases aid effectiveness:

Publish What You Fund aid transparency campaign video

IATI is currently working in five partner countries (Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Honduras, Nepal and Rwanda) to assess the initiative’s impact and check the information being provided is meeting the needs of aid-receiving governments and other stakeholders.

Justine Greening said of the annual report:

IATI has come a long way [and] this progress is to be commended. But we still have a long way to go. Now is the time to challenge each other on the quality of our data, and to strive to improve quality, increase access and better use this growing and invaluable resource.

During 2013 IATI will launch a data store, allowing more people to access and understand aid information, and will continue to promote the development of tools which allow aid data to be viewed in a clear, accessible format online, such as aidview to encourage increased use of IATI data.

Published 22 April 2013