Worlds’ Major Development Aid Agencies Getting More Transparent, Still Space for Improvement


Publish What You Fund has recently published the 2018 Aid Transparency Index. The Aid Transparency Index is the only independent measure of aid transparency among the world’s major development agencies, this year assessing 45 agencies. BCSDN has once again contributed to the ATI evaluations as an independent reviewer by assessing European Commission’s DG NEAR  performance.

Overall, the 2018 results show positive improvements, with 93% of Index organisations now publishing in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard. This means more timely aid and development data is being made openly available than ever before. Around half of the organisations are publishing essential information on their aid and development spending on a monthly basis. Compare this to just a quarter reported in the 2016 Index. However, there is still need for improvement, as the publishing of timely data should also be more comprehensive and cover all aspects of development projects, including, but not limited to, financial and performance – related data. Only two organisations – the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – publish on all Index indicators in the IATI Standard. This year, the AsDB, with a score of 98.6%, knocks the UNDP off the 2016 Index’s top spot. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UK-DFID) is leading the way as the only European donor included in the ‘very good’ category. Seven organisations are in the ‘good’ category, where all EC agencies are including the EC-NEAR. Among the EC agencies, EC-NEAR is the agency that receives the highest score on the finance and budget component and it is the only EC agency to publish project budget documents, although the score for this indicator is comparatively low. The EC-NEAR should make improvements to the publication of performance-related information.

The full ranking and accompanying analysis is available on the following website for the 2018 Aid Transparency Index.


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