TORONTO – Canada is one of the world’s most transparent donors of foreign aid, according to the 2014 Aid Transparency Index released today where Canada placed 11th of the 68 donors evaluated.
Transparency is vital to improving the effectiveness of work to eliminate global poverty. Being able to track how much aid is being spent, by whom and to what effect, better enables everyone involved—from recipient country governments to donor country taxpayers—to work together to accelerate global development.
In 2011, major aid donors committed to publicly publish aid information to an international common standard by the end of 2015. In part to hold donors to account on that promise, the UK-based organization Publish What You Fund releases the annual Aid Transparency Index, which rates the transparency of world’s largest bilateral donors.
Canada started at the back of the pack, ranking 28th in 2011 Aid Transparency Index and falling further to 32nd in 2012. But an ambitious implementation schedule led to a significant improvement in the amount and quality of Canada’s financial data, and in 2013 the country leapt to 8th in the Aid Transparency Index. This year’s move up to 4th reaffirms the results that Canada’s commitment to aid transparency is achieving.
Unfortunately, this rate of progress toward aid transparency is not widespread. The 2014 Aid Transparency Index also demonstrates that the vast majority of the world’s donors are still not sharing enough data about their development activities.
“A lot of progress was made at the political level in the early days of aid transparency,” says Rachel Rank of Publish What You Fund, “But with a year to go until that deadline, progress has stalled.”
“We’re proud that Canada is at the forefront of the movement to make aid more transparent, and we hope our government will encourage and support other donors to follow our lead,” says Samantha Burton, Director of Policy & Advocacy at Engineers Without Borders Canada, “We’d also like to see Canada’s leadership continue at home, where more needs to be done to provide a full picture of how our country is spending our aid budget. For example, all aid-spending ministries—like the Department of Finance, the second biggest allocator of Canadian aid dollars—should be required to publish what they fund.”
ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS CANADA is a movement of over 50,000 professional engineers, students, overseas volunteer staff, and supporters across Canada and Africa. We believe that poverty is the product of broken systems that prevent people from realizing their full potential. Beating poverty means making those systems work. EWB is working to do exactly that.
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. The Aid Transparency Index is the only global measure of aid transparency.
To see all the findings of the 2014 Aid Transparency Index, visit: http://ati.publishwhatyoufund.org/2014
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