Improving aid effectiveness and transparency in AfDB’s Rural Water Sector

15/12/2016
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Rural water supply and sanitation task managers and experts of the African Development Bank (AfDB) have discussed how to enhance transparency and aid effectiveness through online reporting, communications and monitoring of AfDB-financed projects.

Organized by the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI), in collaboration with AKVO, a not-for-profit foundation facilitating the use of data to transform development assistance, the training sought to equip task managers with practical skills to gather and share quality data on AfDB interventions in the rural water sector to enhance communications and decision-making.

By joining the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) in 2011, the AfDB reaffirmed its commitment to good governance, aid effectiveness, and transparency. In April 2016, the Bank was recognized for the third consecutive year as one of the top ten open and transparent organizations in the world. London-based think tank 'Publish What You Fund' which awarded this honor to the Bank assessed the transparency of 46 development organizations including the World Bank, UNDP, Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Based on IATI data, the Bank developed Map Africa, an online mapping platform through which it visualizes its interventions on the African continent with accurate geolocations. AKVO seeks to build on this to further provide real-time updates and reporting on projects.

“With IATI and Map Africa, the AfDB has already made significant progress regarding aid effectiveness and transparency. AKVO adds another dimension in the sense that it jolts projects into life with timely updates and other accurate data using smartphones and other devices. This information can be incredibly helpful in decision making as well as meeting the information needs of all stakeholders,” said Jochen Rudolph, Focal Point of the RWSSI.

Kinshasa-based Zali Zali Bruno is a task manager of rural water and sanitation interventions in the AfDB Country Office in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On the training, he said, “this is a credible monitoring tool not only for the AfDB, but also for all donors needing information to justify their support to their taxpayers. With one click you can access and use information on any project of your choice. This further enhances governance and transparency in the aid business.”

“The beauty of these tools is that I could personally update information on my project, based on information from the recent field visits and progress reports. It is a great compliment to the Map Africa project,” said Engineer Benson Bumbe Nkhoma, Principal Water and Sanitation Specialist in the AfDB Country Office in Malawi.

While this tool is currently being piloted in the rural water and sanitation sector of the Bank, it is also adaptable to the reporting of interventions in other areas such as agriculture, energy, health and education.