CGD in the News

Top 5 Reasons the U.S. Should Join IATI (ONE)

November 23, 2011

Senior fellow Owen Barder and QuODA were mentioned in a ONE blog on IATI.

From the Blog

The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) is both a global voluntary initiative and a common standard for publishing aid information that aims to make it “easier to access, use and understand.” It was formed following the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action as a way to implement those commitments made by donors in Accra on aid transparency. Twenty-one donors covering more than 50 percent of overseas development assistance flows have signed on to IATI, and 22 partner countries have endorsed it. In order to achieve its goals — like helping governments in developing countries manage aid resources more effectively or allowing citizens in both donor and partner countries to better monitor aid spending and reduce corruption — it needs to encompass a much broader range of donors and aid flows, and be fully implemented.

Although the United States has made great strides in the last year on aid transparency — largely through the foreign assistance dashboard — it is still only an observer to IATI and not a full member. With the Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness convening in just one week, the time is ripe for the US to solidify its commitment to aid transparency and demonstrate global leadership in this area. To make the case, we have developed a list of the top five reasons the US should join IATI:

5. Because its record on aid transparency is lacking. Let’s be honest, the US hasn’t measured up so well on transparency rankings and indicators in the past. Publish What You Fund recently released their pilot Aid Transparency Index, showing five of six US aid agencies to be poor or very poor at publishing their own aid information. PWYF recommended that the US agencies provide more and better aid information through the dashboard in line with the IATI standard. The Brookings-Center for Global Development QuODA assessment shows that the US is faring slightly more positively, but still ranking 12th out of 31 donors on the transparency and learning dimension. Joining and implementing IATI would improve the United States’ standing significantly.

Read it here.