AidWatch Report 2011 calls for greater aid transparency
Greater transparency is central to delivering on the promise of aid: to empower people in the fight against poverty and humanitarian disaster. At present, there is too little readily available information about aid, which undermines the efforts of aid donors, aid recipients and civil society to promote development and accountable governance – commitments which donors signed up to in Paris in 2005 and Accra in 2008 – AidWatch 2011, page 21
Starting out by considering the actions and commitments made by EU donors since the 2010 report LINK it looks at which member states have stuck to their promised aid allocations amid political and economic challenges of the past year. Citing the uncomfortable, but perhaps expected, news that collectively, the EU has failed to meet its commitments on aid, it outlines the figures, telling us that:
…the OECD show that the EU has fallen far short of its collective 0.56% goal for 2010, with the gap amounting to nearly €15 billion. Overall, EU aid represented 0.43% of GNI in 2010. The bloc is now clearly off-target to reach 0.7% of GNI by 2015.
Of all EU donors, it reports that a mere three countries can be held to account for missing the majority of this target – Germany, Italy and Spain – accounting for 26.4%, 43.8% and 6.4% respectively.
Focusing on the important role of transparency in foreign aid, the report notes how far some donors have come on their route to transparent and open aid data, acknowledging the huge part that the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) has to play in this. While some have done better than others, the fact that any can take these huge steps forward indicates that all donors have the ability to become more transparent.
Based on this idea, AidWatch 2011 calls on EC and EU member states to:
“ensure that aid transparency delivers on emerging international best practice by:
• Disclosing comprehensive information for all their activities, in machine readable formats.
• Using the common standard that ensures comparability both with other donors, but particularly also the needs of recipient governments.
• Signing and submitting remaining implementation schedules and delivering on initial phases of IATI by HLF4.
• Demonstrating their commitment and leadership to improved aid transparency by ensuring that it remains firmly embedded in a common European consensus on aid effectiveness in the lead up to HLF4”.
At aidinfo we welcome the conclusions of this report, which exposes the EU’s collective failure to meet aid spending targets at the same time as promoting the case for greater aid transparency. By stressing the important role that IATI has to play in achieving more effective aid, AidWatch 2011 is delivering the right message to donors – we hope they will heed this, and that more will join IATI in the run up to HLF4.