UNDP leads multilateral organizations in global aid transparency

Oct 23, 2013

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the top-ranked multilateral organization in aid transparency according to a leading global ranking released today.

Publish What You Fund’s 2013 Aid Transparency Index recognized UNDP for its “ambitious” efforts to publish information beyond international standards this year, placing it fourth overall out of 67 major donors evaluated worldwide.

“UNDP should be congratulated for making significant improvements to its International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) publication and for updating its implementation schedule to be more ambitious – including plans to publish 88 percent of IATI fields,” the authors of the report said.

The IATI sets a common global benchmark for more timely, accurate and comprehensive aid information. Financial flows, budgets, results, location, timelines and project documents are published into an online database that tracks how aid is spent. This not only increases the accountability of donor countries, but also allows developing countries to better align donor assistance with their national priorities and budgets, ultimately maximizing aid effectiveness.

More than 170 countries, UN agencies, multilateral banks and NGOs covering 76 percent of official development assistance input their information to IATI, and more than 20 recipient countries have endorsed the initiative.

As an original IATI signatory, UNDP began publishing to global standards in November 2011. Since, it has consistently met and even surpassed international transparency standards, recently launching an online portal (open.undp.org) that details more than 6,000 of its development projects across 177 countries and territories, and publishes over US$5.8 billion in project data.

“Transparency is at the heart of the way we work,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. “UNDP has a longstanding commitment to accountability, and is committed to making the most effective and transparent use of the resources for development entrusted to it.”

This continued commitment to openness was recognized by the recent UNDP appointment to head of the IATI Secretariat this September. Leading a consortium of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Ghana, Sweden and UK-based NGO Development Initiatives, UNDP will use its considerable reach across 177 countries and territories to continue to improve the transparency of international aid. The Secretariat is already undertaking pilot initiatives in developing countries to test the benefits of IATI on the ground.

“This new role puts UNDP at the forefront of global efforts to increase transparency in development cooperation, including through efforts to develop further the IATI common standard for publishing information about aid spending,” Helen Clark said.

In 2013, UNDP began disclosing its internal audit reports, and moved from annual budget reporting to publishing on-going quarterly reports, which detail activities and result frameworks using sub-national geographical data.

By updating its Information Disclosure Policy, UNDP together with the European Investment Bank are leading multilateral organizations listed on the Aid Transparency Index for following best disclosure practices.

Contact information

Mark Cardwell, mark.cardwell@undp.org; Tel.: +1 212 906 5385

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