The EU's commitment to transparency
Knowing which resources are being targeted at projects and by whom is crucial to the efficient use of development aid.
Making information about aid spending easier to access, understand and use also means that EU taxpayers and citizens in poor countries can more easily hold the European Commission, EU donors and recipient governments to account for using aid money wisely.The European Commission and the EU Member States are committed to achieve transparent EU aid through:
What is the International Aid Transparency Initiative?
The International Aid Transparency Initiative, or IATI as it is known, is simply a way of making information on how we spend our money on aid easier to access and compare and more transparent as a result.
By providing detailed information of all of our projects and financial transactions online, our implementation of IATI will help those involved in aid programmes to better track what aid is being used for, where it is being spent and what it is achieving – from the taxpayers in donor countries who provide the money, to those in developing countries who manage aid or benefit from aid spending.
IATI has developed and agreed among its signatories a common, open, international standard –the IATI standard. This sets guidelines for publishing information about aid spending.
Click on the drop down menu below to access data on EU projects since 2010, by country
How does it work?
By signing up to IATI, donors, NGOs, Member States and Partner countries agree to put their information about aid spending online; accessible through a central IATI registry.
Donors who sign up to IATI agree to publicly disclose regular, detailed and timely information on:
- allocation and
- results of development expenditure, when available
This will enable more accurate budgeting, accounting and auditing by developing countries, as well as amongst development stakeholders.
What new information will be available on the EuropeAid website as a result of IATI?
When you go to the EuropeAid website, you will now be able to access all of our projects and financial transactions, by country, in one place in a central IATI registry. The IATI registry is a kind of online catalogue that directs users to the information they need.
The registry keeps track of what IATI data is available, what it covers, and where it is located. It is not a database, and does not keep a copy of the data.
A further development over the next few months is, the introduction of the TR-AID (Transparent Aid) systemtool will then be implemented, which will help to present the aid data from various sources, including the IATI, in an easily-accessible and searchable format, so that it can more easily be used for reporting or decision-making.
How will IATI improve aid effectiveness?
By agreeing and providing a common international standard for the publication of aid information, IATI will make information about aid spending easier for our users to access, use and understand. Recent research shows that developing countries and their citizens still face huge challenges in accessing information about aid flows and activities. IATI should help to address these challenges.
Better information about aid will in turn help governments in developing countries manage aid resources more effectively as part of their integrated national development planning. Parliaments in partner countries and donor countries alike will be better equipped to monitor aid, increasing transparency and accountability as a result.
When did IATI come into place?
IATI was signed in September 2008 as part of the Accra Agenda for Action on aid effectiveness.
In the Accra Agenda for Action , donors made a number of specific commitments on aid transparency, including commitments to “publicly disclose regular, detailed and timely information on volume, allocation and, when available, results of development expenditure to enable more accurate budget, accounting and audit by developing countries”, as well as agreeing to publish all conditions linked to disbursements and providing forward-looking information to help partner countries plan and manage aid resources.
In the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation in 2011 the transparency commitments were reinforced including an agreement to "implement a common, open standard for electronic publication of timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on resources provided through development co-operation". This "common standard" is to be agreed by December 2012 and implemented by 2015. It is likely that the "common standard" will be strongly based on the current IATI standard and continue to maintain coherence with the OECD-DAC statistical reporting.
Who else is involved in IATI?
There are currently 28 donor signatories to IATI accounting for about 75% of the Official Development Assistance. The European Commission is the ninth donor to implement the IATI. You can find the full list at http://www.iatiregistry.org/group
A wide range of development bodies involved with IATI. As well as donors, this includes partner countries, civil society organisations (CSOs), parliamentarians and aid information agencies. They play a part in consultations and participate in act as observers at decision-making meetings.
What is TR-Aid?
In order to further improve the accessibility and clarity of aid information, the Commission is, in cooperation with the Joint Research Centre, developing an EU aid transparency tool called TR AID (Transparent Aid).
TR AID is a web-based system that combines data from multiple sources and provides easy access to comprehensive information so that the data can more easily be used for reporting or decision-making. Using the IATI standard supports early disclosure of comparable aid information through such tools as TR AID.
What is the EU transparency Guarantee?
The EU transparency Guarantee will make the EU a world leader in aid transparency. It commits EU donors to disclose all information on aid programmes so that it can be more easily accessed, shared and published. This will make it easier for national budgets to detail expenditure, increasing transparency for parliaments and citizens alike.
The European Commission and the EU Member States established the EU Transparency Guarantee as part the Common Position for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Busan, South Korea (29 November to 1 December 2011).
What will the EU transparency Guarantee change?
The EU transparency Guarantee commits the European Commission and EU member states to:
- publicly disclose information on aid volume and allocation, ensuring that data is internationally comparable and can be easily accessed, shared and published.
- Make available to all stakeholders indicative forward-looking information on development expenditure at country level on an annual basis.
- Make available to partner countries disaggregated information on all relevant aid flows, so as to enable partner countries to report them in their national budget documents and thus facilitate transparency towards parliaments, civil society and citizens.
What will the EU do to make all donors more transparent?
The EU will also promote better transparency of aid at international level by:
- Promoting the strengthened capacity of the OECD/DAC in statistics and analysis on global aid flows allowing DAC to become an international hub for transparency.
- Encouraging increased cooperation by international aid transparency initiatives, including IATI, with the OECD/DAC, working towards meeting complementary global reporting and publishing standards based on the DAC CRS++ standard (i.e. the DAC’s expanded Creditor Reporting System with its concepts, definitions, classifications and verification procedures) and the International Aid Transparency Initiative, respectively.
- Promoting increased transparency as an issue of key priority in the multilateral development institutions, including the UN system and the development banks, as well as other partners
Find out more:
- 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness
- EU Common Position for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid
- EU announces new initiatives to increase transparency and improve coordination in aid delivery (press release , 30 November 2011)
- Busan: The EU's work on aid effectiveness (press memo, 30 November 2011)