The transparency session at yesterday’s pre-HLM workshop on “Unfinished Business: Moving forward to meet the Busan commitments” went well here in Mexico City, with a lively debate on progress in implementing the Busan commitment. Lucretia Ciurea, Head of Division, State Chancellery, Republic of Moldova noted that the Global Partnership Monitoring Report showed only modest progress, and that critical needs were still unmet at country level. As an example, Moldova only has 65% short-term predictability, only 55% is recorded on budget and medium term predictability is just 40%. Only nine of 26 donor partners publish to IATI and, while CRS data is useful for historical data, it does not help with national planning. Moldova wants automated data exchange between IATI and its Aid Management Platform and she emphasised that the quality of the data published is key.
From Madagascar’s Office of the Prime Minister, Isaora Zefania Romalahy reflected that transparency was well-advanced compared with some of the other Busan principles but spoke of the importance of having at least provisional data for the year ahead. In response to a question from GAVI on use of IATI data at country level he explained that, even without an automated feed of IATI data, Madagascar uses the IATI Registry for identifying aid coming into the country that does not flow through the government and for finding data from donors who do not have field offices in country.
The IATI Secretariat echoed comments by Moldova among others in emphasising the need to improve data quality to promote greater use of data. The Global Partnership Monitoring Report confirmed that it is possible for donors to publish good quality, timely, comprehensive and forward-looking data as some, such as the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden, are already doing.
From the platform, Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General, EuropeAid said that the EU already publishes details of over 8,000 projects (87% of the total) to IATI, adding that, following the monitoring exercise, the EU had waived its non-disclosure policy with regard to forward-spending. Fuad Albassam, Assistant Director General, OPEC Fund for International Development emphasised OFID’s commitment to transparency whilst reflecting that this is sometimes difficult to achieve.
From the floor, Judith Randel, Executive Director at Development Initiatives called for IATI’s “publish once, use often” principle to be applied to other resource flows that support poverty eradication, Monica Asuna from Kenya emphasised the problem of aid not being recorded on budget, while Juanita Olarte Suescun from Colombia urged donors not to forget the commitments made at Accra and Busan – partner countries are still waiting to receive the information they were promised then.
The session was rounded off by Samuel Aggrey from Ghana who reflected the points made above, reminding participants that transparency is a shared endeavour and one that the Global Partnership is well-placed to take forward.
As the HLM gets underway here in Mexico today, IATI will be setting up its stall in the Marketplace where we will be demonstrating d-portal, the country tracker developed by IATI and Development Initiatives. We would urge all IATI members to come and find us in the Marketplace at Stand 7.