Author Archives: AidInfo

Significant step forward achieved for transparency of humanitarian aid at the World…

Development Initiatives and Publish What You Fund welcome significant steps to improve the transparency of humanitarian aid taken at the World Humanitarian Summit held this week in Turkey. The Summit comes in the wake of the highest level of human suffering since the Second World War. It has produced key commitments towards greater transparency on spending, having acknowledged the key role this plays in tackling a widening financing gap and improving humanitarian action. A ‘Grand Bargain’ has been agreed by leading donor governments, multilateral and UN agencies and non-governmental organisation (NGO) networks, putting forward a set of proposals and commitments for donors and other humanitarian actors as follows: Publishing information on humanitarian aid in a timely, transparent and open format based on the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard by May 2018 Putting data into context, providing information on the activities, environment or circumstances of the emergency aid provided Improving the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Financial Tracking Service (FTS) online database and engaging with the open data community to get the most out of the information published.

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International humanitarian assistance in 2015 reached a record total of US$28bn

Development Initiatives has today released figures based on new data that show total international humanitarian assistance given last year reached a record amount of US$28bn. This is the third consecutive annual rise in funding, yet despite this record amount, funding requested by the United Nations via coordinated appeals experienced an unprecedented shortfall of 45%. The World Humanitarian Summit, taking place on 23–24 May 2016, brings the world together with the aim of initiating concrete action to help countries and communities better prepare for and respond to crises. Discussions at the Summit will in part focus on how to improve the volumes and effectiveness of funding. Development Initiatives has pre-released these figures ahead of its annual Global Humanitarian Assistance report.

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Foreign aid and stimulating domestic revenue mobilisation in Uganda and Kenya: dissemination…

Date 24 May 2016 Time 08.00–10.30 am EAT Location Development Initiatives Offices, 4th Floor Shelter Afrique Building, Mamlaka Road, Nairobi, Kenya Development Initiatives (DI) will hold a dissemination event to discuss the findings of a recent study on foreign aid and stimulating domestic revenue mobilisation in Uganda and Kenya. The study looked at official development assistance (ODA) intended to stimulate domestic revenue mobilisation in Kenya and Uganda for poverty reduction and development. It highlighted areas where ODA has been channelled towards improving and/or increasing the collection and management of domestic revenue mobilisation, focusing on tax revenue. It found that while a small proportion of ODA is channelled directly to domestic revenue mobilisation activities, ODA has also been directed to the automation of tax collection systems, improving trade and capacity building, which have contributed to increased domestic revenue mobilisation. Read the discussion paper in full Format and speakers The event will start with a presentation of the findings by the research team, followed by a moderated discussion on aid and tax

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Foreign aid and stimulating domestic revenue mobilisation in Uganda and Kenya

The role of official development assistance (ODA) in supporting developing countries to enhance and generate domestic revenues (specifically tax revenue) has been the centre of much debate in the development discourse. With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), great focus has been put on the need to map available domestic resources to finance developing countries’ development agendas. The paper later focuses on three main areas of evidence where ODA has stimulated domestic revenue mobilisation in Uganda and Kenya specifically through; system enhancement, support to increasing trade taxes and tax-related capacity building. Key learnings Tax revenue makes up the biggest proportion of total revenue for Uganda and Kenya, and was over 80% in fiscal year 2013/14 for both countries, while grants and non-tax revenue made up less than 20%.

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Transparent financing and integrity measures for effective and accountable humanitarian action

Date: 23 May 2016 Time: 11.00–12.30 EET Location: Rumeli Hall 7, Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center This World Humanitarian Summit side event will look at how the humanitarian community can achieve increased financial transparency, and how better transparency improves operational effectiveness, accountability and integrity. The event is co-hosted by Development Initiatives, alongside Development Gateway, the International Aid Transparency Initiative, OCHA, Publish What You Fund, UNICEF and Transparency International. Format and speakers A series of presentations and discussions by the panellists will be followed by a question and answer session from the floor. Chair Judith Randel, Strategic Advisor, Development Initiatives Panellists Sima Sami Bahous, Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Jelte van Wieren, Director for Humanitarian Aid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Dr Abdulfatah Mohamed, Advisor, Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International Bibhusan Bista, CEO, Young Innovations Dina Abdel-Fattah, Senior Associate, Development Gateway Samuel Kimeu, Executive Director, Transparency International Kenya Approaches and topics under discussion include: Sharing the experiences and views of humanitarian actors, implementing agencies, recipient governments and civil society partners on how transparency measures can improve humanitarian action – including through publication of data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard Consolidating political will and ensuring commitment and concrete actions and agreements on the part of representative organisations to improve the transparency, integrity and accountability of humanitarian financing Discussing the challenges faced regarding data quality and accessibility, and the measures available to ensure that data and information are widely published to show how funds are ultimately used. Follow the discussion on Twitter at #WHStransparency

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Uganda’s data ecosystem

National, continental and global development agendas are all calling for data to play a catalytic role in both the meeting and monitoring of ambitious goals. This study assesses the readiness of the Ugandan national statistical system – an ecosystem that includes both official and non-governmental producers and users of data – to meet these challenges. We have designed a database to capture and classify key attributes about data producers, data sources and data sets. We have conducted research to identify 92 organisations that produce 1,150 unique datasets published in 300 unique documents or platforms. The inventory is currently available as a downloadable Excel file and an online workbook. We have classified these datasets by type of publisher, sector, timeliness and frequency of production, by provenance, geographic scope and level of disaggregation, method of collection, and accessibility

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Development Initiatives welcomes the International Development Committee’s call for increased…

Development Initiatives (DI) has welcomed the report, particularly its call for DFID to use its leadership role to encourage other humanitarian actors to publish to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard. DI provides the technical support to IATI, which aims to make information about aid spending easier to access, understand and use. Martin Horwood, DI’s Director of Engagement and Impact, said: “We are extremely pleased to see the committee calling for DFID to reinforce its own commitment to publishing to the IATI Standard and encouraging other actors to do the same. We are wholeheartedly committed to transparency and open data, as we believe these are key tools in strengthening accountability, improving monitoring and building a more effective and efficient humanitarian system.

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Aid spending on conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security

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Key facts Funding to conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security (CPS) remains a small proportion of overall official development assistance (ODA). ODA CPS has increased by 67% since 2005, reaching a peak of US$3.9 billion in 2009. The largest CPS ODA donor in 2014 was European Union (EU) institutions. Afghanistan received the most CPS ODA by country in 2014. The majority of CPS ODA goes to peacebuilding activities.

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Nepal earthquake: One year on, what has the response been?

Immediately after the Nepal earthquake the world reacted generously, with international governments, multilateral agencies and private donors pledging support of over US$4 billion. But Nepali citizens and agencies acting on their behalf needed to know more than how much had been offered; they needed to know how money was being spent – where, when, on what and for whom – to coordinate and deliver an effective response, and for that response to be accountable to the people it was aiming to help. Yet this information was not widely available, making it impossible to ‘follow the money’, from when it leaves donors’ bank accounts, to where it is spent on the ground. Figure 1: Top ten donors to the Nepal earthquake response The Earthquake Response Transparency Portal National and international media highlighted the lack of information on how and where funds were being used, and the potential impact of this on the overall response. In reaction to local demand for information, our partner in Kathmandu, the technology organisation Young Innovations, established the Earthquake Response Transparency Portal

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Aid spending by Development Assistance Committee donors in 2015

Key findings Official development assistance (ODA) increased to a new peak in 2015: Collectively ODA from the 28 Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors totalled US$146.7 billion in 2015, compared with US$137.2 billion in 2014. (US$ figures throughout are 2014 constant prices.) 22 of the 28 DAC countries reported a real-terms increase in ODA: The largest increase in ODA in monetary terms came from Germany – a rise of US$4.3 billion, or 26%. This meant Germany overtook the UK as the second largest donor after the US. The largest percentage increases were from Greece (39%) and Sweden (37%). Most of the rise in ODA was due to increased spending on refugees within donor countries: ODA targeted on the sustenance of refugees housed in donor countries rose from US$6.6 billion in 2014 to US$13.9 billion in 2015 – by far the largest figure ever recorded

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Donors gave a record amount of aid for hosting refugees in 2015 while also increasing spending…

New data was released today by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on global aid spending. The data shows that official development assistance (ODA; also known as aid) spending on refugees in donor countries overall has more than doubled to US$13.9 billion between 2014 and 2015. However, this has not come at the expense of other aid spending. Even when excluding the spending on refugees in country, total ODA has still risen by US$2.2 billion or 1.7%.

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10 things we learnt from Nepal’s first government panel debate on open data

By Pavitra Rana from Open Nepal – a network, supported by Development Initiatives, to promote more effective development through the increased sharing and use of data Open Data Day 2016 attendees were given insight into open data issues through the lens of Nepal’s most influential data supplier – our government. The panel included the Central Bureau of Statistics, National Planning Commission, National Information Commission, National Reconstruction Authority, Nepal Telecommunications Authority, and the Public Procurement Monitoring Office. The event created a welcome platform for data users to engage with data suppliers and learn about the government’s readiness for better data sharing, use, reuse and redistribution. 10 things we learnt from the panel discussion On commitments There is a lot of support in government for open data.

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People in rural areas risk being left behind as aid to water and sanitation appears to provide…

Today we celebrate World Water Day 2016,[1] coordinated by UN-Water as a reminder that water has the power to transform people’s lives. While the world met the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 88% of people accessing improved[2] water sources, 748 million people were still using unimproved water sources in 2012 with rural areas lagging behind in access, particularly in least developed countries and in sub-Saharan Africa.[3] Financing for water and sanitation is the key for countries to achieve Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. All financial resources play a role in supporting the delivery of basic services including water and sanitation, and aid plays a unique role in the way it can be targeted to poverty reduction and service delivery in the most deprived and vulnerable contexts. Where domestic financial resources are lacking, aid is a vital resource that can be targeted to meet needs in water and sanitation.[4] Figure 1: Aid to water and sanitation, constant 2013 prices, 2003 to 2014 Source: OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Creditor Reporting System (CRS) Aid for water and sanitation appears to provide relatively less support to rural areas Aid to water and sanitation has steadily increased in volume, at a similar pace to overall ODA. ODA to the sector consistently represents 4–5% of all ODA;[5] however, available data indicates that people in rural areas may be being left behind.

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To meet the urgent needs of people affected by the Syria crisis, donors must promptly deliver…

As the Syria conflict enters its sixth year, the overwhelming scale of displacement and needs both within Syria and in the wider region continues to rise.[1] A record of more than US$11 billion was pledged to meet immediate and longer term needs of people affected in the region at the Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London in February 2016. A total of US$5.9 billion was pledged for 2016, and a further US$5.5 billion for 2017 to 2020. Almost six weeks on, there is a considerable shortfall between funding pledged at the conference and funding received and reported, with only 11% of the funds pledged for 2016 (US$680.3 million) recorded on the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS). Following the conference there has been very little additional funding committed, according to the FTS, with total funds committed after the conference being lower than those prior to the conference. Funding pledged at the 2016 Supporting Syria and the Region conference has not yet translated into a notable increase in spending Source: Development Initiatives based on the UN OCHA’s FTS and Co-host’s statement annex: fundraising summary.

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