A step forward for aid transparency in the Pacific
The Devpolicy Blog has discussed the need for enhanced aid transparency in aid activities since its inception. There are many reasons why a lack of transparency in aid can negatively impact aid effectiveness. It makes it harder for donors to coordinate effectively with one another and identify gaps in investments. It makes it harder for partner countries to align aid with their own investment priorities. It makes it harder for donors to learn from each other, and from the past. It also reduces the accountability of aid, both on the sending and receiving side of the equation.
It is for all of these reasons that transparency has been enshrined in high-level aid effectiveness agreements, including the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action, and the 2011 Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
Aid transparency is particularly important for a region like the Pacific. Even when excluding NGOs and private sector philanthropies, there are more than 60 bilateral and multilateral donors operating in the region, spending around US $2 billion per year. With a total regional population of around 11 million, and – when excluding PNG – an average population size per country of under 200,000, the scope and capability for Pacific island governments to engage with and coordinate such a wide range of partners is a daunting task.
In the last decade there have been great advances in aid transparency. The International Aid and Transparency Initiative Standard (IATI), established in 2008, has established a new benchmark for international reporting. Each year more donors are getting serious about their commitments to IATI, as exhibited in the annual Aid Transparency Index. Many aid agencies around the world are also getting more serious …read more