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On Wednesday, October 8, Publish What You Fund launched its annual Aid Transparency Index* (ATI) in Washington, DC. The index shows the African Development Bank (AfDB) is one of the strongest performers on transparency, ranking in the top 10 of 68 donors. The AfDB has made significant progress to improve the transparency of its aid information since 2013. Gaining over 10 percentage points from last year, the AfDB’s ATI score for 2014 is 74.52%, placing it securely in 8th position on the list, at the top of the list of Good performers.
AfDB was the first multilateral development bank to provide private sector and precise geographical data through International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) when it began publish its data in July 2013. In 2014, the AfDB’s IATI publication was expanded to include 12 additional information fields and it updated its implementation schedule to include plans to publish to 94% of the assessed IATI fields by the end of 2015 in line with the Busan transparency commitments.
Rachel Rank, Director at Publish What You Fund, pointed to the AfDB’s progress in transparency as an example during the launch of the 2014 ATI, saying that “progress can be made and can be made quickly”. However, challenges at the AfDB still remain, including: providing forward-looking budgets, and links to project documents and results data for all activities. Moreover, AfDB will promote and make access and use of this information user-friendly to both external and internal stakeholders while strengthening its data quality.
“Transparency is a key priority for us and we have been working hard to ensure that the principles of transparency are embedded in the way we do business,” AfDB President Donald Kaberuka wrote in a blog published on Wednesday.
Greater transparency “is a means to achieving an end,” Kaberuka continued, “namely more effective use of public resources and, ultimately, stronger accountability to the people we serve.”
To this end, in May 2014, the AfDB launched a new online platform – MapAfrica – which allows users to view the locations of its investments across Africa. The platform includes information on project results and beneficiaries and continues to be updated with new data.
In 2013, the AfDB launched a new Disclosure and Access to Information (DAI) policy, putting greater transparency at the heart of the Bank’s work. AfDB views IATI as a strategic initiative to further the implementation of its DAI policy. It is based on the principles of good governance; particularly transparency, accountability and the sharing of information on Bank operations. These principles underlie the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022) for inclusive economic growth across the continent.
* ATI index is based on information published to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard.