Open data means transparent aid
World aid is becoming more transparent and accessible to ordinary citizens, according to a report from Publish What You Fund. Sweden gets good marks for its efforts to make data available, which helps tax payers in Sweden as well as people in our cooperation countries to see where the money goes. But internationally, the big transparency work has only started.
Openness and transparency are two important guidelines for foreign aid, both at international level and for Sida’s activities. The 2012 Aid Transparency index, published by Publish What You Fund, shows that aid has become more transparent, but progress is slow and uneven. A lot more could be done without great difficulty.
Sweden is praised in the report, for using the international IATI standard on how to publish information about aid in a good and transparent way. Opeanid.se that was launched in 2011 shows where all Swedish aid goes and who implements it. The data base is part of Sweden’s Aid Transparency Guarantee and supports the IATI standard.
Transparency and openness are fundamental prerequisites for accountability in a democracy. By making information about aid more accessible and visible, aid can become more efficient and predictable, which reduces the possibility of misuse of resources and corruption.
Sweden ranks 7 out of 72 ranked donors in the Aid Transparency Index 2012 and gets the score fair, along with 12 other donors. Only the World Bank and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) are considered to be good.
(The index report has investigated if the information is available on the donor’s websites or not, but not the quality of the data, i.e. the ranking does not take into account whether the information is presented in a comprehensive database such as Openaid.se, or if it is available in single pdf-documents. The next version of the Aid Transparency Index will also look at how useful the information is for processing, and Sweden is expected to rank higher.)