This blog is written by Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
I was delighted to be invited to address the IATI Members’ Assembly last week, hosted in Rome by IFAD. This was an ideal opportunity for me to highlight the very important issue of transparency as well as the complementarity between the work of IATI and that of the DAC. From my time as Director-General at Sida, I know first-hand how vital the work of IATI is in enabling aid actors to be accountable both to those who fund them and those who they work for.
As new global dynamics and challenges emerge, the DAC is reforming itself around six strategic priorities to ensure its ongoing relevance in a changing world:
1. Focus on fostering development impact and mobilising resources.
2. Learn from existing development approaches.
3. Explore new development approaches.
4. Reach out beyond the membership to influence and be influenced.
5. Proactively self-assess and hold ourselves to account.
6. Work in effective governance, systems and structures.
One of the key areas we’re keen to connect to is the 2030 Agenda – it is critical that contributions to the SDGs are transparent and this is the objective behind the new TOSSD framework (Total Official Support for Sustainable Development). I’d like to invite all IATI members to follow the work of the TOSSD Task Force as we develop the framework, ensure its usefulness for developing countries and undertake consultation in 2018.
“From my time as Director-General at Sida, I know first-hand how vital the work of IATI is in enabling aid actors to be accountable both to those who fund them and those who they work for”
We’re also modernising the definition of ODA (official development assistance) to bring it up to date with changes in the external environment. There will be a revised method for recording loans to the official sector and clarification of both the eligibility of peace and security efforts and the rules on reporting refugee costs in the donor country. We’ve also worked to improve reporting on the role of private sector instruments (PSI), acknowledging them as part of ODA and increasing transparency on these flows.
Later this month we will launch this year’s Development Cooperation Report, with data showing all our members’ ODA. This year we focus on Data for Development. As you in IATI know well, decision makers understand the value of data but often that data is of poor quality, too complex or hidden in separate systems. We need data to follow up on aid commitments and to be able to see if development cooperation leads to results for people in partner countries.
However, DAC members do not invest enough in statistical capacity development in partner countries. We need to analyse and communicate all kinds of data better so that it can be used, building alliances between the data and statistics community on the one hand and the advocates and communicators on the other hand.
So, while we should celebrate progress on transparency, it is crucial that the OECD and IATI Secretariats engage in constant and constructive dialogue to make it as clear and easy as possible for member countries to publish to IATI and report to CRS, and to support efforts to use this data.