The past three days have seen a global meeting of civil society organisations, coming together in Busan, Republic of Korea in preparation for the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. This meeting is significant, since it brings together civil society representatives with aid-recipient governments and donors to monitor developments in the effectiveness agenda since Accra, and to look forward to future commitments that will increase the effectiveness of development cooperation.
Transparency is a central theme for all stakeholders in this forum, and civil society representatives have spent much time over the past days discussing the importance of transparency not only as a donor priority, but also as a priority within their own civil society position.
As agreed by the IATI Steering Committee earlier in 2011, a small group of CSOs has come together to form the beginning of a working group which will discuss the application of the IATI Standard to CSOs. The group is being co-chaired by Beris Gwynne, representing the INGO Accountability Charter and Brian Tomlinson, representing the CSO Open Forum, and includes representation from NGO umbrella bodies in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, and other CSOs that have been engaged with the IATI process, including Transparency International and Publish What You Fund.
The group have produced a short briefing note, in collaboration with the Technical Advisory Group Secretariat, outlining the details of the group and contact information for those who wish to engage.
This is a welcome step, helping to explore application of the Standard to other actors in the aid arena. The IATI Secretariat look forward to engaging with the CSO Working Group, and learning from the experiences of the four CSOs that are already publishing data: DIPR, Engineers Without Borders Canada, The International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Oxfam GB.