The 2014 ATI results follow the trends observed in previous years. A lead group of organisations are making significant and continuous improvements to the information they publish on their current aid activities – and many others have taken steps towards improving their publication in 2014 – but the majority have not made significant progress and continue to lag behind. The top ranking agency is the United Nations Development Programme (91%), followed by 2012’s top performer the UK Department for International Development (88%), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (87%), which held the number one position in 2013. As in 2013, China takes the last place. The average score for all organisations still sits disappointingly low at 39%, and there is an increasing gap emerging between the organisations at the top and those at the bottom of the ranking.
In this race to the top, some high performing organisations from the 2013 ATI are performing even better in 2014. This includes the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; Canada; three EC agencies – the Directorates General for Enlargement and for Development Cooperation, and the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments; the Global Fund; the Inter-American Development Bank; Sweden; UNICEF; and the World Bank’s International Development Association. Big improvements have also been made by Finland; the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development; the Gates Foundation; the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (U.S.); Spain and Switzerland– all have published information on their current activities to IATI, leapfrogging others that have not made significant changes to the amount of information they publish or its accessibility. All these organisations should be commended for their efforts.
There has also been some important progress by Ireland, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Korea and the U.S. Department of State, reflecting their first steps towards making information available in machine-readable formats such as IATI XML or CSV. These organisations now need to focus on improving the comprehensiveness of their aid information before the December 2015 deadline.
More than half the organisations assessed perform poorly, scoring less than 40%. Nearly a third of the organisations included in the 2014 ATI (22 of 68) are placed in the very poor category. Many are yet to take a systematic approach to publishing information on their development activities. Much of the information available is scattered across websites and it is difficult to join the dots between the descriptive, financial and performance information related to individual activities, making the data difficult to use. This means that there is still a long way to go in obtaining a full picture of all development flows, without which development effectiveness and improved donor coordination will be difficult to achieve.
As a group, multilaterals fare better than any other type of donor organisation, with 11 of the 17 ranking in the very good or good categories. Of the 50 bilaterals included in the Index, 22 are now publishing to IATI, compared to 15 in 2013. Although there has been improvement among some bilaterals and a handful perform very well, the majority are placed in the poor or very poor categories.