Helen Clark: Talking Points on Side Event on the Role of Data Standards in Mobilising and Monitoring Financing for Development Commitments UN Financing for Development Conference

Jul 14, 2015

Talking Points

* I’m pleased to speak at the opening of this session with Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo of Nigeria, and also to welcome Nigeria as a new member of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).
* UNDP joined IATI in 2008, and has headed its Secretariat for almost two years.
* We have made a big commitment to transparency in our organisation, and we were very pleased to be rated last year as the most transparent development organisation in the world by Publish What You Fund.
* We think transparency is very important for building mutual trust and accountability - between the state and citizens, and between governments and their development partners
* At this conference on finance for development, we are all very aware of the wide range of financing sources which developing countries need to draw from.
* It’s important to be able to assess, access, allocate, and manage diverse funding for sustainable development.
* Capacity has to be built to do that, and greater transparency around aid flows can help achieve that.
* UNDP has supported more than fifty countries to build these capacities. We’ve helped set up databases, websites, and other information systems so that funding flows can be tracked and managed by countries.
* This helps improve the alignment of funding with country priorities and reinforces national ownership.
* In UNDP’s experience, three things stand out in improving development effectiveness through transparency:
* Data needs to respond to specific information needs.
* Data should be up-to-date on where, when, how, and on what development funding is spent.
* Data should be comparable across providers.
* Let me elaborate on each point:
(1) The IATI Standard, with its focus on timely, comprehensive, and forward looking information, can help countries make this information available

A practical example:

Myanmar has used IATI’s framework for aid data for its Mohinga Aid Information Management System. The system places aid data reported globally by development partners alongside local data.

Over $3.5 billion in aid commitments comprising over 1,488 activities by development partners are now tracked through the local system, enabling the government to monitor and manage development funding more effectively.
(2) With growing diversity in the sources and types of development finance, integrated reporting systems to manage and monitor flows are essential.
(3) Accessible and timely data on financing flows helps governments make informed decisions on their budgets. It
also allows public scrutiny and thus improves accountability.

* Looking ahead to better, more transparent co-operation, there are a number of specific actions many in this room can undertake.
* All development actors can publish data on their development activities, using the IATI Standard.
* Developing countries, providers of development co-operation, and CSOs can work together to promote greater use of data at country level, improve its quality and coverage; support integrated tracking systems, and build the capacity of data managers and users.
* A stronger global eco-system of data can be established by strengthening the interoperability of data across different systems.

In conclusion, this financing for development conference is a good opportunity to promote the importance of transparency in helping countries to manage diverse sources and types of financing for better development results.
UNDP is pleased to see reference to the importance of transparency in the outcome document.

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