News story

Transparency: UK calls on donors to make aid more transparent

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

Development Secretary Justine Greening called on the international community to do more to make their aid delivery more transparent.

Launching the UK’s Aid Transparency Challenge last night, she set out how the Department for International Development (DFID) will require any organisation it works through to adhere to International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standards of transparency and accountability for their disbursement of British aid.

To help these organisations to fulfil this requirement and make sure that it does not cause an unreasonable barrier to receive funding, Justine Greening set out how the UK will consult with a range of organisations to identify potential obstacles and issues. She also pledged to continue to improve DFID’s own systems and data, and to share best practice.

Tracing aid and using aid data

The UK will also set up the Aid Transparency Challenge Fund, which will encourage the development of tools to improve traceability of aid and the use of aid data. The fund will be designed after the period of consultation.

Speaking at the Publish What You Fund, BOND and UK Aid Network joint event in London to mark the first anniversary of the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Justine Greening said:

“Transparency is crucial for successful development. Growth and poverty eradication around the world have been underpinned by open societies and open economies - what the Prime Minister has called the golden thread of development. That is why these things are a priority for next year’s G8 summit.

DFID has transformed its approach to transparency, reshaping our own working practices and pressuring others across the world to do the same.

Great progress has been made by the UK’s aid sector, but there’s a lot more we can do, that is why I am launching the Aid Transparency Challenge, to help the whole sector achieve this.

Number one for aid transparency

The UK already has an excellent track record on aid transparency. In 2010, DFID introduced the Aid Transparency Guarantee, which has seen it publish significantly more details of development spend.

Transparency is included in all multilateral assessments and country plans. And last month, at the Open Up! Conference co-hosted by the Omidyar Network, DFID launched a new tool, the Open Aid Information Platform, to improve access to aid data. This progress has been recognised already this year, with DFID placing top of 72 organisations in 2012’s Publish What You Fund aid transparency index.

Working together to improve global development

In addition, Justine Greening this week co-chaired the first Global Partnership Steering Committee Meeting. This will drive improvements in the way development co-operation is delivered globally - including commitments on transparency made at the Busan High Level Forum last year.

Justine Greening, alongside Steering Committee co-chairs Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria) and Minister Armida Alisjahbana (Indonesia) led a focused and decisive first meeting of the Steering Committee for the new Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, set up in Busan a year ago.

The group agreed to work up deliverables for a Ministerial level meeting in late 2013 to drive improvements in the way development co-operation is delivered globally - including strengthening commitments on transparency, and ensuring that emerging economies, the private sector and civil society are seen as key actors in development, especially in a post-2015 framework.

The group will meet again in March, back to back with meetings of the post-2015 high level panel.