The 2018 Aid Transparency Index Report, released by ‘Publish what you Fund’ has ranked the African Development Bank 4th among 45 development organizations, lifting the Bank by six positions since 2016.
The improved ranking reflects the Bank’s operational capabilities and the efficacy of its systems and processes, including a strict adherence to best-in-class reporting and disclosure of its programs, projects, aid and financial interventions.
The index ranked the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) on the top of the list. AsDB provides non-concessional loans, equity investments, loan guarantees, concessional loans, grants and technical assistance to lower and middle-income governments, as well as the private sector, in Asia and the Pacific.
The second ranking on the Index is the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which operates in around 170 countries.
The third ranking went to United Kingdom’s the Department for International Development (DFID), which is the main bilateral aid agency in the UK, and administers up to 70% of all UK Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).
The Aid Transparency Index has been the only independent measure of aid transparency in the world’s major development and humanitarian agencies. It calls for timely, accurate, comprehensive and proactive reporting and publication of all forms of aid and related development activities.
The index found that while organizations provide information on the objectives of their operations, only four DFIs – the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the African Development Bank – publish details or summaries of their pre-project impact appraisals, evaluations and review documents and results.
According to African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, “Proactive stakeholder relations and governance anchored on transparency are critical and at the heart of the impact-driven work that makes the African Development Bank Africa’s leading development finance institution. This latest ranking on the global aid transparency index reflects the Bank’s alignment to its strategic priorities and unwavering commitment to Africa’s development and transparency agenda.”
A signatory to the International Aid Transparency Initiative since April 2011, the Bank recently launched a new projects portal, publishing data according to IATI’s international standards on transparency, making information about its development spending easier to access, use and understand.
Open data supporters have endorsed the index, adopted by the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the United States government and other international and regional bodies.
The report points to a few challenges to the open data momentum, and these include the shrinking ‘civic space’ needed for citizens and CSOs to engage in decision-making. In addition, increasingly scarce Official Development Assistance resources, and the changing development landscape pose a fresh set of fiscal, regulatory, technical and ethical challenges (and opportunities) for global transparency efforts.
Nearly all (93%) of the agencies in the index now publish their activities using the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard.