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Major US agencies failing to deliver on aid transparency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite a looming deadline on international transparency commitments, most U.S. aid agencies are still not publishing 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 donors, 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 comes first in the ranking this year, knocking MCC off last year’s top spot. But MCC continues to be a leader publishing high quality aid information, while the two main U.S. aid agencies – USAID and the State Department – still lag behind. China finished last for the second year in a row.

The U.S. is critical to making global aid transparency work, and some agencies are making great strides to publish their aid data. However, these efforts are being undermined by those agencies that are failing to deliver on their commitments.

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.”

PEPFAR is the biggest improver in the U.S. in the 2014 ATI and has made a clear commitment to publishing useable data.

Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator:

“PEPFAR is committed to working with partners to deliver an AIDS-free generation. This is only possible by using data that are digestible, understandable, transparent, and actionable to improve program impact with sustainable results.”

The U.S. is the world’s single largest bilateral donor, and in 2011 committed to make its aid fully transparent. The delivery on this international commitment is critical to meeting the global goal of aid transparency.

In order to realize the transformative potential of open data in improving development effectiveness, the donor community needs to work together to drive forward collective action on aid transparency and learn from best practice on data use.

To see all the findings of the 2014 ATI, visit:

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Contact:          Nicole Valentinuzzi T: +44 (0)7726 831 197 / +1 202.701.9753


  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. The ATI is the only global measure of aid transparency.
  2. At the Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011, the world’s largest aid providers committed to publishing their data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) by the end of 2015. IATI is the only global common standard for publishing aid information that ensures data is timely, comprehensive, comparable & accessible.
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