HLM2 Side Event Reviews Progress on Transparency, Development Assistance
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The International Aid Transparency Initiative organized the side event with the African Development Bank, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the UN Development Programme and the World Food Programme, to advance the use of open data in development programme planning, implementation and monitoring as part of broader efforts to promote global transparency and support countries in implementing the SDGs.

The IATI Standard, which has been updated to publish information on the SDGs, is expected to contribute to efforts to implement and monitor the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

30 November 2016: Participants at an International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) event reviewed progress on transparency and open data, including through the use of the IATI standard. The event, titled ‘Transparency in Development Cooperation: Much done, Much left to do,’ aimed to advance the use of open data in development programme planning, implementation and monitoring as part of broader efforts to promote global transparency and support countries in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

IATI organized the one-day event with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Food Programme (WFP), on the sidelines of the Second High Level Meeting (HLM2) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 28 November to 1 December 2016.

According to IATI, the Standard, which has been updated to publish information on the SDGs, is expected to contribute to efforts to implement and monitor the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In her keynote address, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark stated that UNDP “places great priority on transparency” and has improved the quality of the information it publishes to IATI. This commitment to transparency, she added, has helped UNDP become more accountable and improve internal management. Clark outlined how IATI’s data on development activities contribute to: strengthening national ownership by enhancing governments’ access to data to inform planning, policy-making and resource allocation decisions; empowering citizens by illustrating aid spending and giving citizens data on which to hold their governments accountable; and supporting coordinated humanitarian efforts, including quick identification of gaps in support during crises and emergencies.

In order to ensure transparency and development effectiveness at the scale and speed needed to achieve the SDGs, Clark called for: donors and multilateral organizations to raise awareness of and encourage the use of IATI data; donors to publish more details about their official development assistance (ODA); humanitarian actors to regularly publish timely data to IATI on responses to crises and emergencies; and civil society to analyze IATI data and advocate for its use.

IATI data have helped Bangladesh and other developing countries access up-to-date information, gain a broader picture of development spending beyond traditional aid, and better plan for the future.

In advance of the event, Mohammad Mejbahuddin, IATI Vice-Chair and Bangladesh’s Ministry of Finance, reflected on the IATI’s progress in a blog post. He shared how IATI data have helped Bangladesh and other developing countries access up-to-date information, gain a broader picture of development spending beyond traditional aid, and better plan for the future. Mejbahuddin underscored his Ministry’s commitment to use IATI to improve its decision making.

Publish What You Fund, a non-profit organization that advocates for and measures transparency, produces an Aid Transparency Index based on the IATI standard, which sets a global benchmark for publishing comprehensive, forward-looking and timely aid information. Nearly 500 organizations publish information to the IATI Standard, including donors, multilateral organizations, foundations, the private sector and NGOs. UNDP has been ranked first on the Index for two consecutive years.

SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals) includes four targets on finance that focus on resource mobilization and ODA commitments, among other aims, as well as targets on data, monitoring and accountability. [Event Website] [UNDP Administrator Statement] [IATI Vice-Chair Blog] [UNDP Press Release on IATI Ranking] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on HLM2]


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