The UK’s International Development Committee has called for the UK to encourage donors and intermediaries at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) to sign up to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).
The committee’s new report on the WHS calls for a stronger push for humanitarian funding to be published through IATI to “help build a more transparent system based on trust, collaboration and partnership”.
Published this week, the report sets out key issues that the committee believe should take priority if the world’s first humanitarian summit is to make “real progress”. The summit will bring together world leaders and humanitarian actors in Istanbul later this month.
At the WHS, IATI will be encouraging key actors to commit to reporting their humanitarian expenditure and activities to IATI’s upgraded version 2.02, which makes the IATI Standard fit for purpose for the humanitarian community. This version introduces new data fields, including a humanitarian marker, and these, combined with a commitment from donors to update their information on a daily basis in the rapid onset of emergencies, would enable access to real time IATI data to meet operational needs.
Greater transparency in the humanitarian system can help donors manage their risk whilst also building more trusting relationships with partners. DFID is an ‘early adopter’ of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), a voluntary scheme aimed at improving transparency by having humanitarian and development actors publish data on their activities through the IATI Standard. A stronger push amongst all donors and intermediaries to sign up to the IATI Standard would create a more transparent environment and inspire confidence in engaging with a broader range of partners.
DFID should expand upon its good work in incorporating local actors into crisis response in a number of ways:
- by continuing its support for the Start Fund, replicating the experience by funding the new Southern NGO network to be launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in May, and encouraging other donors to foster and engage with pooled funds managed by NGOs;
- by emphasising the importance of, and seeking commitments to, the principle of subsidiarity in humanitarian responses, supporting local organisations rather than running in parallel to them or crowding them out;
- by using its position as the largest contributor to the country-based pooled funds to press for increased allocation to local actors; and
- by encouraging other donors and recipients to publish their humanitarian funding through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) to help build a more transparent system based on trust, collaboration and partnership.