AfDB’s new Disclosure and Access to Information (DAI) Policy, which is intended to enlarge public access to information, entered into effect on February 3, 2013. The policy is a reaffirmation of the Bank Group’s commitment, to carry out its development activities in an open and transparent manner. The policy is grounded on the principles of good governance, particularly transparency, accountability and sharing of information in its operations. AfDB views IATI as a strategic initiative to further the implementation of its DAI policy. Expected benefits at the organisational level include:
- Centralized quality data accessible to all
- More effective and results oriented organisation
- Improved data management
More broadly, investment in better information is investment in better development. The transparency agenda aims to empower people on the ground with the information they need to follow the money, drive results and to scrutinize and make better decisions. Transparent information on aid is fundamental for democratic ownership and accountability. It enables citizens and their representatives to monitor public spending and hold their governments to account.
However, developing countries face huge challenges in accessing up-to-date information about aid – information that they need to plan and manage those resources effectively. IATI aims to address this by making information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand. In addition, once donors provide sub-national geographic information in the standard IATI format, it will be possible for civil society, policymakers, and researchers to visualize aid distribution at a district or provincial level, as well as access site-level information for on-going aid projects. Mapping this information enables a better understanding of where aid goes, ensuring that aid money flows to those who need it most.
What is IATI?
IATI is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid in order to increase its effectiveness in tackling poverty. It brings together donors and developing countries, civil society organisations and other experts in aid information who share the aspirations of the original IATI Accra Statement to increase the transparency of aid. AfDB became the 19th signatory to IATI on 14th April 2011.
IATI is a cutting-edge global standard which offers a common standard for publishing aid information. It satisfies four pillars: transparent aid, ensuring data is published in a manner that is timely, comprehensive, accessible and comparable. These are all crucial, as only then can donor aid spending be mapped and properly aligned with the recipient country’s domestic budget.