Consortium chosen to host global transparency initiative
New York - A multi-stakeholder consortium has been chosen to host the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), giving new impetus to the drive to increase the transparency and effectiveness of development spending.
The consortium – led by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and including the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Governments of Ghana and Sweden, and a UK-based NGO Development Initiatives – was selected by IATI’s Steering Committee in Paris on March 13 following a competitive process. Beginning in mid-2013 for a three year period, the consortium will take over the role carried out since 2009 by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Developing countries today face huge challenges in accessing up-to-date information about aid, and in planning and managing these resources effectively. Citizens in developing and donor countries similarly lack the information they need to hold their governments to account for use of these resources.
IATI aims to address these gaps by making information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand.
Launched in 2008, IATI provides a common data format for donors willing to release information about current and future aid spending in a timely, comparable and reliable way. Financial flows, budgets, results, location, timelines and project documents are published into an online repository accessible to all users interested in tracking where, when and how aid is spent.
More than 120 UN agencies, multilateral banks, bilateral donors and NGOs covering 76 per cent of official development assistance input their information to IATI, and more than 20 partner countries have endorsed the initiative.
Each member of the consortium brings a unique set of strengths and all have demonstrated their strong commitment to transparency and the goals of IATI. The consortium approach will ensure that the initiative remains inclusive and dynamic, reflecting the changing development environment of today’s world. UNDP will lead the consortium, coordinate the work of the secretariat and use its global network to promote and expand IATI’s effectiveness. UNOPS will provide financial and administrative services. Development Initiatives will support IATI’s Technical Advisory Group and provide technical support to IATI publishers. Ghana will ensure that partner countries are engaged and represented. Sweden will reach out to and engage donor countries.
IATI’s ability to adjust to the changing aid architecture will be a key challenge in advancing IATI implementation over the next three years. IATI will need to incorporate information on broader development cooperation initiatives, in addition to official development assistance. This will require deeper engagement with a wide range of providers of development cooperation, particularly emerging economies, foundations, and the private sector.
IATI will work to ensure complementarity with the OECD-DAC Creditor Reporting System (CRS), the Forward Spending Survey (FSS) in the common standard and prioritize progressive convergence towards a single common open standard, with all Busan endorsers completing common standard implementation schedules outlining their plans to fully implement this standard by the end of 2015