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The clock is ticking on donor promises

Over the past decade, donors have repeatedly committed to improving aid effectiveness and transparency in development cooperation. At the second High Level Forum (HLF) in Paris in 2005, donors committed to “take far-reaching and monitorable actions and to reform the way we manage and deliver aid”, including by improving predictability, ownership and integration and reducing duplication and fragmentation. This was followed by pledges at the third HLF in Accra in 2008 to “make aid more transparent” and “to publicly disclose regular, detailed and timely information on volume, allocation and, when available, results of development expenditure to enable more accurate budget, accounting and audit by developing countries”. The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) was also launched in Accra, providing a practical approach for publishing aid information in a comparable, open format. Furthermore, one of the most significant and concrete commitments to come out of the fourth HLF in Busan in 2011 was for donors to “implement a common, open standard for electronic publication of timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on resources provided through development cooperation operation” with endorsers undertaking to fully implement this common standard, including IATI, by December 2015. With just over a year until that deadline, we are at a crucial point in the push for donors to deliver on their existing commitments, particularly as new goals and commitments are agreed as part of the post-2015 Development Agenda.