Finalist-PhilBlogAwards 2010

Finalist-PhilBlogAwards 2010
Finalist for society, politics, history blogs



Saturday, January 14, 2012



Erle Frayne D. Argonza

How much transparency is involved in the aid phenomenon? Is the transparency coming from the donor or from the recipient, or from both sides of the aid coin?

Whatever agenda will be taken up concerning the aid problem in Busan, the transparency question would surely ring the strongest decibels. And may we stress DECIBELS, as we anticipate debates that could be so emotional as they can shoot up adrenalin to feverish levels. Discourses will be accompanied by high tenor rationalizations, with finger-pointing blaming in the menu of presentations.

“Busan Busan on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” could be a guide thought in the report on the subject below.

[Philippines, 22 December 2011]


Ahead of Busan: How Countries Rank on Aid Transparency

The majority of international aid donors are not publishing enough information about the money they give, undermining the effectiveness of development spending and damaging public trust, according to the Aid Transparency Index 2011 released earlier this week by Publish What You Fund. The report comes just two weeks before the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea.

Aid is a scarce and precious resource, which, if spent well, can make a major difference to the lives and prospects of people and countries receiving it. However, a lack of comprehensive, timely and comparable aid information means that donor governments do not know enough about where their own money is being spent with what effect, nor can they can compare and coordinate what they are doing with other agencies around the world.

Without comparable data, aid-recipient countries cannot plan their own spending properly or measure impact. Equally, taxpayers in both donor and recipient countries are unable to hold their government to account for spending the money well.

Major donors including the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, Norway, Canada, Italy and Australia perform poorly in Publish What You Fund’s pilot Aid Transparency Index, in spite of pledges to improve at the high-level meetings in 2005 and 2008. The five best-ranked donors are the World Bank, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the African Development Bank, The Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.K.’s Department for International Development.

The index – the first of its kind - ranks 58 donor agencies according to how much information they provide across 35 different indicators. The average score of 34 percent shows that although some donors have made good progress, the majority need to do much more. No donors ranked in the top category “good,” which requires a score of over 80 percent.

The fifteen worst-performers (Spain, Portugal, U.S. Department of Defense, U.K. Commonwealth Development Corp., Latvia, U.S. Treasury, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, China, Greece, Cyprus and Malta) all scored less than 19 percent, with the bottom two scoring zero percent.

The report calls on all donors to sign up to and implement the International Aid Transparency Initiative, which provides a common standard for publishing data and has the potential to transform the way aid is managed. It urges donors to use the upcoming High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan to commit to publish timely, comprehensive and comparable information on aid by 2015.

The Make Aid Transparent campaign was launched in June this year to urge governments to maintain commitments to publish to IATI at Busan. In the last 6 months the campaign has gained real ground. It is now supported by over 100 organisations and 8000 people internationally and has been presented around the world, including in London, Paris, Washington, Yemen, Honduras, and Berlin. The Make Aid Transparent campaign will be handing the petition signatures to country ministers at the meeting in Busan at the end of the month.


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