Saturday, 28 May 2016

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Department for International Development to improve the UK Aid transparency system

aid transparency

Early December, Development Secretary Justine Greening called on international donor organizations based in the UK to become more transparent and to adhere to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)* standards. To help these organizations fulfill this requirement and to ensure that it does not cause an unreasonable barrier to receiving funding, Justine Greening set out how the UK will consult with a range of organizations to identify potential obstacles and issues. She also pledged to continue to improve the Department for International Development (DfID) own systems and data, and to share best practice. "Great progress has been made by the UK’s aid sector, but there's a lot more we can do, that is why I am launching the Aid Transparency Challenge, to help the whole sector achieve this." Justine Greening said. The Aid Transparency Challenge, which is the name of the new transparency initiative, is the second step in recent years to make development spending more transparent. In 2010, DfID introduced the Aid Transparency Guarantee, which published significantly more details of development spend.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provides an online source which shows how much money their contributors spend on aid projects world wide and on which aid projects their money is spent. According to UNDP the United Kingdom is the among the four largest UNDP-donor countries in the world. In 2011, the UK spent over $235 million on 282 UN aid missions. 54 % of this money was used for crisis prevention and recovery and 28% on democratic governance. Projects for poverty reduction & MDG achievement and environment & sustainable development received respectively 14% and 3%.

* The International Aid Transparency Initiative was launched in 2008 in Accra, Ghana. The importance of this system is multiple. It will give those interested or involved in aid the opportunity to track how the aid is used and what the effect is of each specific investment. Moreover it also gives non quantitative data. This is of value to everyone from taxpayers in donor countries to those in developing countries who benefit from aid. Although some may claim, such a system would carry an extra administrative burden, according to Karin Christiansen, Director of Publish What You Fund, using the IATI system could reduce the amount of financial reporting as they can refer donors to the information available in the IATI system.