By Richard Johnstone | 13 October 2014
Most major international aid donors are not producing enough information on funding to ensure transparency, a major report has found.
The Aid Transparency Index, published by the non-government organisation Publish What You Fund, found that many donors still do not publish information about their current activities in a meaningful way, making the data hard to access and use.
This is despite internationally agreed pledges for donors to publish aid information to a common standard by the end of 2015 in a bid to improve the effectiveness of spending.
According to the analysis, the United Nations Development Programme is the top performer, setting out information on about 91% of its activities, followed by the UK’s Department for International Development and the US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (87%), which held the number one position in 2013.
As in 2013, China takes the last place, while the average score across the 69 NGOs surveyed was just 39%.
Publishing the data, Rachel Rank from Publish What You Fund said there was an increasing gap emerging between the organisations at the top and bottom of the ranking.
With a year to go until the transparency deadline, progress has stalled, she said.
‘The ranking shows that no matter how many international promises are made, and no matter how many speeches there are around openness, a startling amount of organisations are still not publishing what they fund.’
Responding to the Helen Clark, the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said: ‘Transparency is core to our mission. We are gratified to be recognized for our efforts to operate in an open, transparent manner.
‘UNDP is committed to working in the open to spark innovation, to ensure the best possible use of funds entrusted to it and to accelerate the development of a sustainable future for all.’
The Asian Development Bank was named as the fifth most transparent aid organisation, and the most transparent development bank, ahead of the African Development Bank in eight place and the Inter-American Development Bank in ninth.
‘ADB remains committed to the furtherance of aid transparency and will continue working closely with development partners on this important matter,’ Kazu Sakai, director general of ADB’s strategy and policy department, said.