BRUSSELS – 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.
The United Nations Development Programme 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.
Rachel Rank, Publish What You Fund, said:
“A lot of progress was made at the political level in the early days of aid transparency, including a promise to publish aid information to an internationally-agreed common standard by the end of 2015. But with a year to go until that deadline, progress has stalled. The ranking shows that no matter how many international promises are made, and no matter how many speeches there are around openness, a startling amount of organisations are still not publishing what they fund.”
Linda McAvan, Chair of the European Parliament’s Development Committee said:
“ Greater transparency on aid flows is absolutely critical to enabling parliamentarians and civil society organisations to hold policymakers to account. We need to ensure we are able provide European taxpayers with assurances that their money is being spent in the most effective way possible.’
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.
Finland, Ireland and Spain also made progress in 2014, together with France’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI), which began publishing information about its aid to selected countries for the first time.
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. These are a mix of old and new agencies, with varying aid budget sizes ,and include the EU presidency trio of Italy (incumbent) and Latvia and Luxembourg, future hosts of the presidency during 2015, European Year for Development.
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/2014
Contact: Nicole Valentinuzzi T: +44 (0)7726 831 197 email@example.com