The International Aid Transparency Initiative IATI should make information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand.
Aid transparency gains momentum
Over 130 aid donors are now publishing their data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), an open data platform that gives a timely, comprehensive and comparable picture of aid flows in order to improve accountability and impact. On Monday 22 April, the first IATI annual report was published.
"IATI has made great progress since its creation, says Joachim Beijmo Director of Communications at Sida."
So far, 37 donors, organisations and other cooperation development actors have signed up to IATI, representing 75 of the global official development finance. Germany is the latest country to begin publishing its data in line with the IATI common standard, with Russia signalling its intention to join.
Sweden to host IATI
As transparency is a prioritized area for Swedish development cooperation, Sweden has been an early adopter of the IATI platform, for example being the first donor to publish large amounts of project and programme documents. Sweden continues to strive to be at the forefront of increasing transparency in aid.
To further drive change in the international setting, Sweden will work through a multi-stakeholder consortium that will host IATI for the next three years. The consortium also includes United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Government of Ghana and a UK-based NGO Development Initiatives. The consortium was selected by IATI’s Steering Committee in Paris on March 13th, following a competitive process. As from mid-2013 the consortium will take over the role previously carried out by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
One of Sweden’s main tasks will be to reach out to and engage other donor countries in the effort of increasing transparency and aid effectiveness. Each member of the consortium brings a unique set of strengths and all have demonstrated their strong commitment to transparency and the goals of IATI. Development Initiatives will support IATI’s Technical Advisory Group and provide technical support to IATI publishers. Ghana will ensure that partner countries are engaged and represented.
"Transparency is an important factor in successful development, says Joachim Beijmo. Open data on activity level provides huge potential to empower people on the ground. Donors will also be able to do their jobs better with transparency data – informing decisions, making partner collaboration easier, fighting corruption and in being accountable to taxpayers", he concludes.
IATI was established in 2008 to improve the aid transparency to increase its effectiveness in tackling poverty. Those publishing their data to the common standard include governments, foundations, non-governmental organisations and civil society.
IATI is currently working in five partner countries (Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Honduras, Nepal and Rwanda) to assess the initiative’s impact and check the information being provided is meeting the needs of aid-receiving governments and other stakeholders.