31 October 2012

2012 Aid Transparency Index reveals aid is still not transparent

The 2012 Aid Transparency Index, released by Publish What You Fund, indicates that while aid transparency has improved, most donors continue to fall far short of best practice.

The 2012 Index used 43 indicators to assess the aid transparency of 73 organisations, including bilateral donors, multilaterals, four UN agencies, two health funds, three climate funds and two private foundations. Data was collected between May and July 2012 and donors were given an opportunity to review and verify the data report on their organisation prior to publication.

The 2012 Index reveals a wide variation in the performance of donors; 2 organisations were ranked as ‘good', 13 ‘fair', 23 ‘moderate',22 ‘poor', and 12 ‘very poor'.

The best performing donors were the UK Department for International Development and the World Bank International Development Association, which received scores of 91% and 88%, respectively.

The worst performing donors were Malta and China who received scores of zero and 2%, respectively.

Of particular concern is that some of the world's largest and most prominent donors scored poorly; German agency GIZ scored 39.7%; the US Department of State scored 31.1% and the UK's development finance institution, CDC, scored 22.5%.

Overall, Publish What You Fund found that the 2012 Index shows that "aid transparency is on the rise, though progress is modest". The organisation attributed the improvement to "a combination of political will, increased pressure from civil society, technological progress and cultural change within institutions".

However, with almost half of the organisations surveyed found to fall within the ‘poor' or ‘very poor' categories, there is obviously still significant work to be done.