2015 was an important year for international development, with governments agreeing to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the next fifteen years. It was also a critical year for aid transparency. Back in 2011, leading donors committed in Busan to make their aid transparent by the end of 2015.
The 2016 Aid Transparency Index demonstrates whether that commitment has been met. Five years after the first Aid Transparency Index, and five years after the Busan commitment, it shows us how transparent major donors are as we begin the first year of the implementation of the SDGs.
The results find that ten donors of varied types and sizes, accounting for 25% of total aid, have met the commitment to aid transparency made in Busan. Over half of the organisations included in the 2016 Index publish data to the IATI Registry at least quarterly. However, most of the organisations covered fall into the lowest three categories, scoring below 60% and demonstrating that the publication of timely, comparable and disaggregated information about their development projects to the IATI Registry is far from complete. The Index also finds that over half of the organisations included do not publish budget information for the next one to three years – a key demand of partner countries.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) tops the Index for the second time with an excellent score of 93.3%, the only organisation to score above 90%. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is placed second, performing well once again, and UNICEF enters the ‘very good’ category for the first time, jumping into third place. The ‘very good’ category also includes the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UK-DFID), the Global Fund, the World Bank-International Development Association (WB-IDA), the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB), the Asian Development Bank (AsDB), the government of Sweden and the African Development Bank (AfDB). These donors should be commended for their efforts in dramatically improving the timeliness and the comprehensiveness of their aid information since 2011.