Despite making several international transparency commitments, the vast majority of Europe’s aid donors are still not sharing enough data about their development activities. The Aid Transparency Index (ATI), released today by Publish What You Fund, is the industry standard for assessing transparency among the top 68 aid-giving organisations, from countries including the U.S. and Germany, to influential organisations such as the World Bank and the Gates Foundation. For the third time now, BCSDN’ has taken part in the ATI evaluations by assessing DG Enlargement.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) came first, knocking the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation off last year’s top spot, and China finished last for the second year in a row. In Europe, the gap between high and poor performers is widening. There is growing group of European “transparency champions” that are publishing more information about their aid in accessible and comparable formats, but the majority of EU donors have made little or no progress to-date.
The EC’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), DGs Enlargement and Development and Cooperation-EuropeAid are among the biggest improvers this year, joining consistently high-ranking performers UK and Sweden in the top two categories. However, these efforts are being undermined by those EU donors that are failing to deliver on their commitments. Nineteen EU member states appear in the poor or very poor categories. Greece remains in the bottom slot as the least transparent European donor, ranking 67th of the 68 organisations, just above China. As the newest member of the EU, Croatia was ranked in the ATI for the first time and finished in 56th place.
In order to realise the transformative potential of open data in improving development effectiveness, the EU needs to work together to drive forward collective action on aid transparency and learn from best practice on data publication and use.
To see all the findings of the 2014 ATI, visit: http://ati.publishwhatyoufund.org