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Press Releases

The Road to 2015 Campaign: Open Data for Sustainable Development was launched today by Publish What You Fund at the UN Development Cooperation Forum in NYC.

What is it about?

road to 2015 logoThe Road to 2015 campaign is about harnessing the power of open data for sustainable development.

What do we want?

  1. We want donors who have committed to publishing aid data to deliver on that promise.
  2. We want transparency and open data for development cooperation to feature as an integral component of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Why now?

The clock is ticking on donor promises. At the Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011, the world’s largest donors promised to fully implement a common standard for aid information – the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) – by the end of 2015. While some are now publishing this data, efforts remain uneven.

We are at a crucial point in the push for open data for sustainable development. The Post-2015 Development Agenda will be important for setting targets on sustainable development in the context of poverty eradication, and we need to make sure that transparency and open data remain an integral part of these discussions.

Why does it matter?

 Open data is power. Partner countries have asked more information about development cooperation to deliver positive results on the ground. Likewise, citizens want to know what is being spent where, by whom, and with what results, so they can hold their governments to account.

The Road to 2015 must be paved with open data, not just good intentions. Progress is being made but donors need to accelerate their efforts to make this information accessible and bring about meaningful change. In the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, it is important we remind donors of their original promise to make their spending data open and accessible.

How to get involved?

This launch is a call for global support from all development actors advocating for transparency and accountability. It would be great if we could add your organisation to the growing list of supporters that already includes Action Aid, Christian Aid, ONE, Oxfam, Plan USA, Save the Children, Transparency International. Please email us for more information, or to ask any questions.

Find out morewww.roadto2015.org

For immediate release: Wednesday 23 October 

Campaigners highlight transparency with week of global events

A series of high-profile events to highlight the importance of transparency for development, innovation, equitable growth, and poverty reduction will begin tomorrow. The first ever Global Transparency Week (October 24 – November 1) is taking place at a time when public interest in government and corporate transparency has never been higher.

Hosted by twenty-two organisations, the week will demonstrate how global the movement for transparency has become: with organisations from Washington, Kabul, Geneva, Ottawa and London participating.

Global Transparency Week will start with the launch of the Aid Transparency Index in Washington on October 24, and finish with the Open Government Partnership summit in London from October 31 to November 1.

David Hall-Matthews, Managing Director at Publish What You Fund said: “Global Transparency Week brings together campaigners from all over the world to unite and compare efforts to drive openness, accountability and transparency for social good. With the community of transparency campaigners growing every year, we hope this is just the beginning.”

Robin Hodess, Director of Advocacy and Research at Transparency International said: “Global Transparency Week demonstrates the strong commitment worldwide to make openness a universal principle. When governments and companies are transparent, they can fight corruption more effectively which in turn benefits more people and provides a development dividend.”

Among the events taking part during Global Transparency Week is a virtual session on mapping global aid. In ‘Towards a Global Open Aid Map’, organized by the World Bank’s Open Aid Partnership and Publish What You Fund, speakers from Washington D.C., Nairobi, Lilongwe, La Paz, and Kathmandu will explore the power of open data to inform development decisions and improve results.

On Monday October 28, the North-South Institute will discuss the importance of open data for development in Ottawa, while GAVI will examine transparency in development funding in Geneva. In London, Thomson Reuters will debate whether open data has failed to live up to its hype. On Wednesday October 30 in London, Clare Short will introduce a series of short films made by Publish What You Pay about the extractives industry.

For full events listing, see http://www.globaltransparencyweek.org.

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Contacts: Katie Finnegan-Clarke on 07514 751543, katie@publishwhatyoufund.org or Nicole Valentinuzzi on 020 3176 2512, nicole.valentinuzzi@publishwhatyoufund.org.

Notes to the editor:

Participating organsiations: Aid Data, BOND, Development Initiatives, Engineers Without Borders, Gavi Alliance, HEC Paris, Integrity Action, Intergrity Watch Afghanistan, mysociety, ODI, ONE, Open Aid Institute, Open Aid Partnership (World Bank), Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Government Partnership, Publish What You Fund, Publish What You Pay, Sunlight Foundation, Technology Salon, The North-South Institute, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Transparency International.

For more information visit www.globaltransparencyweek.org

The full list of events is available online at http://globaltransparencyweek.org/events/

Interviews available with participating organisations. Contact the numbers above.

LONDON – Information about aid spending is steadily becoming more available, but it also needs to become more useful, concludes a report released today by Publish What You Fund.

The results show there is a leading group of organisations that publish large amounts of useful information on their current aid activities. For the first time, a U.S. agency – the Millennium Challenge Corporation – ranks top, scoring 89%, more than double the average score.

The Aid Transparency Index (ATI) report is the industry standard for assessing foreign assistance transparency among the world’s major donors. For the first time, it not only assesses what information is published, but also the usefulness of that information.

For example, a donor that publishes budgets in PDFs is more transparent than one that does not publish them at all – but that information is of limited usefulness, because a PDF is hard to access, analyse and reuse.

Although the world’s largest and most influential providers of aid reaffirmed their commitment to transparency this year – at the G8 and as part of the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals framework – more than a third of the organisations ranked still score less than 20%.

This includes large donors, such as France and Japan, which have committed to implement the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), the only internationally agreed standard for publishing aid data that seeks to make it easier to access, use and understand.

David Hall-Matthews, Director of Publish What You Fund, said:

“Open data and transparency are becoming fashionable watch words, but we’re checking if donors are really delivering, looking beyond high-level commitments and long-held reputations. The ATI ranking shows that no matter how many international promises are made, no matter how many speeches there are around openness, a startling amount of organisations are still not delivering on their aid transparency goals.

“We will continue to encourage organisations to release more data – but more is not enough. We also want to make sure that the information is useful.”

Several governments and organisations, including the African Development Bank, Canada, the European Commission, GAVI, UNDP, UNICEF and the U.S. Treasury have made big improvements this year, by publishing more information in accessible and comparable formats.

China comes last, making it the least transparent of the 67 organisations that were assessed in 2013.

The top 27 agencies all publish at least some current information to the agreed IATI standard. Because the data is published in the most open and comparable format, it is easier to access, and also more useful. Organisations receive lower scores for publishing in less useful formats such as PDFs or hard-to-navigate websites, or for not publishing the information consistently.

To see all the findings of the 2013 ATI, please visit: http://ati.publishwhatyoufund.org

 

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Contact:          Nicole Valentinuzzi T: +44 (0)7726 831 197 / + 1 (202) 834 7055

nicole.valentinuzzi@publishwhatyoufund.org

 

Notes:

 

  1. Publish What You Fund is the global campaign for aid transparency, advocating for a significant increase in the availability and accessibility of comprehensive, timely and comparable aid information. The organisation monitors the transparency of aid donors in order to track progress, encourage further transparency and hold them to account.
  2. The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) has 33 signatory donors committed to publishing to its common standard. These donors account for over 85% of Official Development Finance (ODF).
  3. On Thurs 24 Oct at 1530 EST, watch the 2013 ATI launch here: http://www.publishwhatyoufund.org/2013-index-livestream/