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International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Overview Romilly Greenhill Aid Transparency Leader, DFID October 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Overview Romilly Greenhill Aid Transparency Leader, DFID October 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Overview Romilly Greenhill Aid Transparency Leader, DFID October 2010

2 Why improve aid transparency? Fundamental to all 5 Paris Principles: –Ownership: need good information to plan and budget, and involve citizens –Alignment: better information critical for getting aid on budget and aligning behind country plans –Harmonisation: donors need good information about each others plans to harmonise –Mutual accountability: information critical for accountability between donors and partners, and to citizens –Results: need information on inputs to be able to effectively monitor outputs and outcomes

3 Why improve aid transparency? Strong demand from partners and CSOs –Partner country consultations have expressed a strong demand for better information on how, where, when, what and in which sectors aid is spent, future aid flows, and other core areas –Enhanced transparency is a consistent and strong demand from northern and southern civil society organisations Enable citizens and parliamentarians to track aid flows and ensure aid is put to most effective use –Paris Declaration evaluation 2008 noted the continuing serious difficulties involved in securing and providing timely, transparent and comprehensive information on aid flows that enable partner countries to fully report on budgets to their legislature and citizens. This basic contribution by donors to mutual accountability is widely found to be missing or inadequate, even in relatively strong systems Enables donor country citizens to better understand how aid is being used

4 Why a new initiative? Raise political profile and support to the transparency agenda Opportunity to bring together diverse stakeholders towards shared goal Build on, and add value to, existing mechanisms for sharing information – in particular the DAC-CRS Focus on meeting the needs of stakeholders in partner countries Help to meet the Accra transparency commitments in the most coherent and consistent ways Ensure information made accessible to a wide range of stakeholders

5 What does IATI aim to achieve? (1) Meet information needs of developing country AIMS and budgets, with local classifications Develop common definitions and reporting processes, and avoid parallel reporting Provide easily relevant and accessible information for governments, parliamentarians, civil society, the media and citizens, Provide accurate, high quality and meaningful information (not statistics) Provide information in ways which are easy to understand, reconcile, compare, and read alongside other information sources

6 What does IATI aim to achieve? (2) Include information from non-DAC donors, multilaterals, foundations and NGOs Information published is legally open, with as few barriers to access and reuse as possible Reduce duplicate reporting by donor agencies and minimise additional costs Be electronically accessible in an open format Access to information about aid which is more timely, more detailed, more forward looking and more comprehensive

7 HQ Country teams DAC CRS AIMS FTS Treasury & Parliament Line Ministries Sectoral working groups Journalists & Researchers AIDA, PLAID, TRAID, Donor Atlas, etc Embassy website Donor website Donors already publish to many systems and services BUT Significant burden Results in inconsistencies Reporting now – a view from donor perspective

8 DAC CRS AIMS FTS Donor budgets and accounts Line Ministries Sectoral working groups Journalists & Researchers AIDA, PLAID, TRAID, Donor Atlas, etc 30 Embassy or Delegation websites Donor website 45 Donor websites Systems are producer rather than user oriented Information can be: hard to find inconsistent scattered across multiple sites unavailable Reporting now – a view from user perspective

9 The worst of all possible worlds – requiring a collective solution

10 Publish once, use often

11 IATI will support and and value to existing systems like the DAC and AIMS, not undermine or duplicate them; IATI will NOT create a new mega-database – instead, it will develop a four-part standard for publishing aid information, consisting of: 1) agreement on what will be published; 2) common definitions for sharing information ; 3) a common electronic data format; 4) a code of conduct. If the information is standardised (items 2 and 3 above) it can be published in any document and on any website and still be accessible and useable. The underlying principle is publish once, use many times IATI: a common standard for aid information

12 Countries would not have to change their classifications

13 How the data might look to a user

14 Benefits to donors Publish information once, rather than responding to multiple, ad-hoc data requests, including under FoI legislation Improved understanding of citizens and parliamentarians in donor countries – helps make the case for aid Demonstrate to constituencies that are tackling corruption and ensuring that aid is well spent Better understanding of other donor activities at country level In some cases, improve information sharing between HQ and country levels within donor agencies Publication can help to ensure better quality information Better information can facilitate higher quality research and evaluation Stronger focus on results – help to understand what works and what doesnt Potential for greater automation of reporting over time

15 Benefits to partner country governments More up to date information on current and future donor activities to inform AIMS and strengthen planning and budgeting Reduced transaction costs through automation of data exchange Improve coverage and quality of information available Help to support AIMS by: –Making it easier for partners to collect and use aid information from donors –Ensuring information is public – many AIMS are not –Creating political pressure to ensure that donors report fully to AIMS –Ensuring more qualitative information is published –Promoting accessibility to stakeholders –Common definitions – to adapt locally where needed Meeting information needs of line ministries, not just finance and planning Strengthen mutual accountability through improved information on donor performance

16 Benefits to CSOs and parliamentarians Access to much more detailed and up-to-date information on donor spending More qualitative information available Improved ability to track use of resources and hold donors and governments accountable Better able to participate in decision making processes through improved information More and better information available on specific areas through intermediaries More accessible information

17 IATI will support and add value to existing systems like the DAC and AIMS, not undermine or duplicate them; Develop a four-part standard for publishing aid information; Partner countries will have access to more up-to-date information on current and future aid allocations; Parliamentarians and CSOs will benefit from increased access to more detailed and timely data to demand accountability; Donors will publish their aid information once, rather than respond to many requests; Information intermediaries will be able to collect data automatically and offer a wider range of tailor-made services. What IATI will do

18 Duplicate the work of the CRS – which is designed for a specific purpose Create a parallel set of definitions and classifications - this work will only take place where no existing classifications exist Design a new database – one database cannot meet all needs Push a one-size-fits-all approach onto donors or partner countries – –Donors use existing systems and convert to IATI format –information published will be tailored to country circumstances Strengthen partner country transparency – this is important work, but is taking place elsewhere What IATI will NOT do

19 IATI governance & management Secretariat: DFID, UNDP, Development Initiatives for Poverty Research (DIPR) Funding: Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, UK. Australia, Germany, Norway Multi-stakeholder Steering Committee Multi-stakeholder Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Full IATI membership: donor signatories and partners who have endorsed New IATI observer category Partner country consultations led by UNDP Civil society consultations led by Reality of Aid

20 Next steps Phase 1 standards agreed by IATI signatories on 7 th July 2010 Phase 2 and 3 standards: aiming for agreement by December 2010 January 2011: Early implementers will start publishing in line with IATI standards November 2011: Aim for all signatories to implement phase 1 standards

21 Publish once, use often


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