On Tuesday, November 29, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the US government’s intention to join the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). The announcement came during Clinton’s speech at the 4th High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea.
The IATI is a voluntary multi-stakeholder initiative that aims at improving transparency in development assistance, by requiring participating governments and institutions to publish aid data in a standard format on an online registry. The initiative was launched in 2008 and the information standard was agreed upon in February 2011.
Claudia Dumas, the President and CEO of Transparency International–USA said: “We welcome Secretary Clinton’s announcement on the IATI. The US is the world’s largest bilateral donor, and its participation in the initiative can contribute to increase coordination among donors and help reduce corruption, so that aid is more effective in helping those in greatest need”.
Canada and the Asian Development Bank also announced their intention to join the IATI during the High Level Forum in Busan; signatories to the initiative now account for three quarters of global development assistance.
The US announcement follows the creation, in December 2010, of the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, which enables users to research and track US foreign Assistance, and the US commitment to increase transparency of foreign assistance under the US Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership (OGP), released last September.
In November, UK-based Publish What You Fund (PWYF) published a pilot Aid Transparency Index that ranked development agencies based on their level of transparency. US agencies obtained mixed grades: the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was among the most transparent (7th overall), USAID and State Department were ranked as “Poor” performers, while Treasury was rated “Very Poor”.
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