“We will work to improve the availability and public accessibility of information on development co-operation and other development resources, building on our respective commitments in this area. To this end, we will…implement a common, open standard for electronic publication of timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on resources provided through development…with the aim of implementing it fully by December 2015“.
(Busan Partnership Agreement §23, December 2011)
We now have just six months to go until the deadline for donors to fully open up their aid information. Three and a half years ago at the last major aid effectiveness forum in Busan, Korea, donors agreed to do this. They’ve had plenty of time, but now the clock is ticking on their promise. It is critical that those who have made little progress act now.
In the run up to the deadline we are coordinating the Road to 2015 campaign, a civil society coalition that is pushing donors to deliver on this commitment. As part of the campaign we are conducting two aid transparency reviews to see how donors are progressing. Later this week we will be launching the first of these reviews, which will focus on the progress of major EU donors. We will be publishing a full Aid Transparency Index in early 2016 so we can see how donors have fared in meeting the deadline, but we didn’t want to let them off the hook this year, so we’ve designed these reviews as a mid-year stock-take.
This year is an important one not just for transparency, but for the whole development sector. The Busan deadline that was set back in 2011 is also timed to coincide with the start of the post-2015 Development Agenda, the shape of which is currently being negotiated. To give the new agenda every chance of success it is crucial that donors have laid the proper groundwork to allow them to systematically publish timely and complete information about their activities.
Furthermore, if donors cannot fulfil a promise which is so achievable then it is hard to take any new commitments seriously. A group of donors are taking the lead and showing that high levels of transparency are achievable; but the efforts of this lead group are being dragged down by the rest. For transparency to be transformative, we must be able to see the whole picture, not just patches of it.
So which European donors are we reviewing?
- Lead agencies from the 10 biggest providers in the EU: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
- The European Commission’s DG DEVCO – EuropeAid, DG Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, FPI and ECHO.
- Europe’s key financial institutions – the EIB and EBRD.
When will the review be out?
The review will be released on Wednesday June 3rd, and the findings will be discussed as part of an event at the European Development Days in Brussels on Thursday June 4th. If you’re coming to the EDDs then please come along!
How can you get involved?
If your organisation is interested in joining the Road to 2015 campaign then please get in touch. We greatly value the support of our partners; by working together we can put extra pressure on donors throughout the rest of this year to deliver on their promise.
This blog was originally posted on 1st June 2015 on the Publish What You Fund website