Huge boost for aid effectiveness as groundbreaking transparency initiative gains momentum

Apr 22, 2013

A girl taking a computer lesson in a makeshift classroom in Borghaso village, Bamyan province, Afghanistan. Open data allows more transparency in reporting aid to countries like Afghanistan, where in 2012 UNDP ran 35 projects with a total budget of US $818 million. (Photo: Joel van Houdt/UNDP)

London – More than 130 organizations are now publishing their data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), an open data platform that gives a comprehensive and comparable picture of aid flows in order to improve accountability and impact. 

Germany is the latest country to begin publishing its data in line with the IATI common standard, with Russia signalling its intention to join.

Meanwhile IATI’s membership has grown to include 37 donor signatories who together represent 75 percent of global official development finance.

Starting July 2013, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  a founding member of IATI  will lead a consortium that will take over hosting the initiative, a role carried out since 2009 by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). 

In a foreword to the IATI 2012 annual report, released today, UK Development Secretary Justine Greening MP says: “Transparency of aid flows is critical to good aid delivery. It helps reduce waste, fight corruption and makes sure money gets to the people who need it most.

“Better information at country level is right at the heart of what the International Aid Transparency Initiative is about – empowering people on the ground to scrutinise and make better decisions.”

IATI is currently working in five partner countries (Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Honduras, Nepal and Rwanda) to assess the initiative’s impact and check the information being provided is meeting the needs of aid-receiving governments and other stakeholders.

“IATI has come a long way and this progress is to be commended," Ms. Greening added. "But we still have a long way to go. Now is the time to challenge each other on the quality of our data, and to strive to improve quality, increase access and better use this growing and invaluable resource.”

During 2013, IATI will launch a data store, enabling enhanced accessibility, and will continue to promote the development of tools such as to encourage increased access and use of IATI data.

Other priorities for 2013 include work on the common standard, supporting the private sector to implement the initiative, as well as working with signatories to move beyond publishing what they can to publishing the full extent of what is needed by partner countries and other stakeholders demanding aid information.

The new UNDP-led consortium will include the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Governments of Ghana and Sweden, and a UK-based NGO Development Initiatives. It will host IATI until the end of 2015.

For more information about IATI, email or visit or #IATI on Twitter.

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