Much ado about something

  • Dec. 1, 2011

The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness has come to an end.  Much has happened on aid transparency and IATI over the past week – see our Busan page for our pre-Busan progress report and the news section for earlier blogs. It is definitely worth a short summary:

You’re gonna need a bigger boat

In a really exciting week of announcements, we are very pleased to confirm that five new and diverse signatories have joined IATI this week. In chronological order: Canadian CIDA, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United States, CDC and UN Capital Development Fund. This brings the total number of signatories up to 27. As a result of this week’s announcements, IATI signatories already account for 80% of official development finance.

If the idea is 10% – implementation, hard work, and luck are the other 90%

A terrific last-minute rush in the run up to HLF4 has seen a further five organisations publish to IATI in the past few days: Finland, the Asian Development Bank, the Global Fund, Oxfam GB and Publish What You Fund. In total, 19 organisations including 13 signatories have so far published information through the IATI Registry.

Being part of the furniture

Transparency was a hot topic during negotiations on the Busan Outcome Document. In the final text, released today as the “Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation”, transparency features as a Shared Principle and as specific commitments in para 23 to:

a) Make the full range of information on publicly funded development activities, their

financing, terms and conditions, and contribution to development results, publicly

available subject to legitimate concerns about commercially sensitive information.


b) Focus, at the country level, on establishing transparent public financial management and

aid information management systems, and strengthen the capacities of all relevant

stakeholders to make better use of this information in decision–‐making and to promote



c) Implement a common, open standard for electronic publication of timely, comprehensive

and forward–‐looking information on resources provided through development co-operation,

taking into account the statistical reporting of the OECD–‐DAC and the

complementary efforts of the International Aid Transparency Initiative and others. This

standard must meet the information needs of developing countries and non–‐state actors,

consistent with national requirements. We will agree on this standard and publish our

respective schedules to implement it by December 2012, with the aim of implementing it

fully by December 2015.


In the IATI Secretariat, we believe that the text provides a solid and positive foundation for progress in the coming months to build on collective IATI achievements to date. The priorities now are for donors who have not yet joined IATI to do so and plan implementation, for those who have signed IATI to implement, and for everyone to use the increasing pool of IATI data to, for example, create a virtuous circle through providing valuable feedback from aid beneficiaries to providers in order to maximise the impact of aid on poverty reduction.