Transparency Indicator

 Joint UNDP-OECD support team response to the consultation on the transparency indicator proposal (31 Oct to 14 Nov 2013)

The joint support team would like to express our sincere thanks for the valuable feedback and comments received. The interest and range of views expressed towards this indicator proposal confirm that transparency is indeed a top priority on the development effectiveness agenda, and that the momentum around this topic remains strong.

In total, we received feedback from more than 20 contributors, comprising over 100 substantive comments or questions. Some related to the general approach of monitoring transparency, some to technical elements of the indicator and others to the process for developing this indicator.

The feedback included important questions for clarification, constructive suggestions to improve the indicator as well as understandable concerns regarding the proposed approach. In response to all these, substantive revisions have been introduced to the indicator methodology. Most notably the scoring methodology for timeliness of reporting has been revised to recognise more clearly the inherent differences between the OECD/CRS and IATI systems and to enable a more balanced approach to assessing providers’ timeliness in each system. Furthermore, the focus of the assessment has been confined to bilateral Official Development Assistance and multilateral outflows to ensure an accurate and clear basis for the assessment. Details on revisions, as well as explanations to clarify the numerous questions raised, are set out in the attached appendix.

Alongside the variety of detailed comments, feedback included also strong support for advancing this work in preparation for the Mexico High-Level Meeting. The joint support team will now proceed to pilot the revised indicator to produce a preliminary assessment and lessons for Mexico. In practice, the assessment of providers’ reporting to the systems of the Common Standard will be carried out by the OECD/DAC and IATI secretariats by mid-December, and analysis will be compiled under the leadership of the Global Partnership joint support team during December 2013-January 2014. To facilitate engagement of all providers concerned, the joint support team will share with each provider the outcomes of the piloting by mid-January 2014. The findings of the pilot process will feed into the report on progress since Busan. Complimented with available qualitative evidence, including Common Standard implementation schedules, the report will deliver an overall narrative on the current state of implementation of the common open standard, coupled with recommendations for future monitoring efforts in this area.

This piloting exercise should be seen as an important first step – not as an end in itself. Important aspirations for refining the indicator approach remain, notably incorporating an assessment of quality and usability of information. Furthermore, important questions remain on the overall vision for the common standard, which currently consists of inherently different systems. It will be for all interested stakeholders to decide on when and how they will realise the set ambitions of the standard, and the joint support team encourages leadership of all concerned stakeholders to drive these deliberations. We stand ready to contribute from the perspective of accurate monitoring, and hope to provide helpful inputs to these deliberations through lessons learned from the piloting exercise.

Joint UNDP-OECD Support Team for the Global Partnership

 9 December 2013



To read key points for clarification and action by the joint UNDP-OECD support team, please access the Appendix

To read the original joint support team proposal, please access the Transparency Indicator Proposal



Attachment(s) 31350.jpg


Alexandra Le Moniet a The UNDP-OECD joint support team Fri, November 15,2013

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the UNDP-OECD joint support team, we would like to thank you for your valuable contributions to the consultation on the transparency indicator proposal.

We are reviewing your feedback with great interest and will revert to you as soon as possible via this same community page to inform you about clarifications and next steps.

With best regards,

The UNDP-OECD joint support team

Lauren Smith a UNDP
Wed, November 27,2013

Dear Colleagues,

UNDP has watched with interest the evolution of the consultations on the global Transparency Indicator, particularly as it relates to the information needs of partner countries, many of whom have not contributed to the consultation online for reasons of culture or connectivity.

From the outset we wish to commend the members of the Joint Support Team for the strong technical guidance and leadership shown in managing some quite divergent views. Nonetheless we feel it’s important to write now to share UNDP’s views on the discourse with a view to ensuring the end result is something that partner countries and CSOs can continue to relate to and therefore that UNDP can support as the most balanced approach.

As a starting point we maintain the view that the Busan commitment was to fully implement the common standard, and any dilution of this commitment would be a setback for the tremendous progress already made in transparency. The commitment made in Busan (paragraph 23 c) was to “implement a common, open standard for electronic publication of timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on resources provided through development co-operation… This standard must meet the information needs of developing
countries and non-state actors, consistent with national requirements…”

In this context, we wish to highlight the recommendations listed below that were gathered through an extensive consultation with 74 developing country governments in 2009.

  • · as the top priority, timely, up-to-date and reliable information about current and
    future aid flows;
  • · information about where, when, how, on what and in which sectors aid is spent;
  • · better information to monitor results and the impact of aid in their countries;
  • · better coverage of aid flows from a wider range of donors, including non-DAC donors,
    multilateral agencies, global funds, NGOs, and foundations;
  • · information on aid going through NGOs as it largely not reported to national authorities;
  • · information about conditions and conditionalities;
  • · information to monitor progress at the country level on the Paris Declaration targets;
  • · possibility to map aid spending against gender and climate change indicators;
  • · contract and procurement details less important compared other areas of the standard; and
  • · non-statistical information (documents about donor strategy, policy, evaluations, etc.)
    considered key to the dialogue between partner country governments and their development partners.

These requirements remain as valid today as they were at that time in ensuring that data provided fully meets the needs of developing countries. Quality and usability of data are both important aspects that require further work, but they should nonetheless be measured to the extent possible during this initial assessment and further developed during subsequent rounds.

UNDP urges the Joint Support Team to keep these ideals in mind as it draws conclusions from the divergent views offered through the consultation. Deficiencies can be identified in the narrative and addressed in subsequent rounds of assessment. Above all we feel that the risk of losing momentum by failing to conduct an initial assessment in time to feed in to the Mexico High Level meeting - far outweighs the risk of carrying out a baseline assessment based on the current proposal, even though the latter may not yet be flawless.

Submitted on behalf of UNDP.

Lauren Smith a Annet Baingana
Tue, November 26,2013

Posted by the joint team at the request of UNFPA

Dear All,

I am pleased to submit UNFPA comments on the transparency indicator proposal for your consideration.

Timeliness of the transparency indicator: While it is noted that the indicator will take into account large variations between ‘beginners’ and ‘champions’, UNFPA is of the strong view that, organizations like ours which have made major strides towards implementing IATI within a short span of time, are recognized for their efforts, resources and time deployed for this purpose. This will provide an incentive for organizations to adopt IATI standards and commit to a release schedule.

Best Regards,

Annet Baingana

Guillaume DELALANDE a The UNDP-OECD joint support team from France
Fri, November 22,2013

Dear Colleagues,

The UNDP-OECD Joint Support Team would like to update you on our next steps following the consultation on the indicator proposal to measure Transparency.

We have received feedback from 21 contributors, corresponding to more than a hundred individual comments. We have accepted some late comments early this week in order to ensure that all the organizations that wanted to express their views could do so.

In order to address your comments as comprehensively as possible, and to review some technical suggestions and proposals made, we are coordinating with various colleagues from the OECD, UNDP, the IATI secretariat and others. These discussions are currently taking place, and we hope to be able to provide a response to your feedback and information on next steps within a week’s time.

Finally, we would like to reiterate our thanks for your valuable contributions, and look forward to our continued collaboration in preparation for the High-Level Meeting in Mexico.

With best regards,

The UNDP-OECD Joint Support Team

Alexandra Le Moniet a USAid from United States
Mon, November 18,2013

Posted by the joint team at the request of USAid

Attachment(s) USAID Comments - Tranparency Indicator Proposal.pdf
Alexandra Le Moniet a The Government of Bangladesh from Bangladesh
Mon, November 18,2013

Posted by the joint team at the request of the Government of Bangladesh

Attachment(s) Bangladesh_Comments on aid transparency indicator.docx
Alberto Amaro a Alberto Amaro AECID - Spain (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation) from Spain
Mon, November 18,2013

Please find attached our comments.

Best regards

Alberto Amaro - Spain (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation)

Attachment(s) Comments regarding the Transparency Indicator Proposal.docx
Lauren Smith a Aid Effectiveness Unit (AEU), Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh from Bangladesh
Fri, November 15,2013

Please see attached comments.

Attachment(s) Comments on aid transparency indicator.docx
Julie Vaille from France
Fri, November 15,2013

 Dear Joint Support Team,

Thank you for your work on elaborating a proposal for indicator on transparency to monitor implementation of the Busan commitments.

It is indeed critical for efficient, responsible and effective public development aid, not just for donors but also for beneficiaries.

We have read all the various comments from WP Stat Bureau as well as multilateral and bilateral donors with great interest and we thank you for inviting to share our position:

  1. On the proposal
  • As mentioned by the bmz, the suggested indicator may favor IATI over CRS as it is scoring the publication frequency (that is the comparative advantage of IATI), while the quality dimension is ignored (CRS/FSS comparative strength). All the components of the common standard should be equally treated, implying the same maximum score for IATI and CRS/FSS.
  • We totally agree with the fact of focusing on the best score between IATI and CRS: it goes in the sense of a “common” standard.
  • Assessment of quality of reporting: It raises the question of the different purposes of IATI and CRS systems as mentioned above. We think quality of information is essential for statistical work and it is also particularly relevant for partner countries that will use information to plan external flows. We kindly request to use DAC expertise to include a data quality element on the standardMoreover, there is a strong incentive for donors to provide inaccurate or irrelevant data (for instance in scope of aid, data field, projections). We see it as a substantial risk posed to development assistance information
  • Scope of aid: it is applied to all three calculation components (timeliness, level of detail and forward-looking nature). We propose that this indicator assess the transparency of bilateral ODA only (neither multilateral aid, nor other official flow). A large share of multilateral contributions would indeed come out scoring low (since data fields would be empty as information cannot be given rapidly). And we think we should focus on direct aid we provide, as we cannot plan most of the OOF.
  • On timeliness: by proposing 4 points for monthly reporting and 3 points for quarterly reporting, the indicator does not really take into consideration the various constraints to donors system and the potential additional costs (financial and human) it would means. Publishing at such frequency can present technical problems, depending on statistical and institutional systems. We think we are moving away from the “gradual” aspect of the publication, according to each donor system and implementation plan.
  • On level of details: We think it is not really relevant to assess level of details by scanning all data fields at the same level: some fields are more important than others.
  • On forward looking: we think that instead of answering the question “how many years ahead is information provided” the indicator focus again on the level of detail. Assessing the country programmable aid would be more useful for partner country.
  1. On the approach
  • We note the lack of truly coherent standard.
  • We also think that there is a need for more transparency in the decision-making process: for instance this subject is neither part of the agenda of the global partnership preparation, nor of the working parties on statistics.
  • Consultations should be broader and sufficient time should be dedicated to the discussion before taking any formal decision.
  • It would be useful to have an evaluation of the adequacy between partner country needs and the systems currently in place, to make sure they do meet their needs.

Best regards

Alexandra Le Moniet a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation from Switzerland
Fri, November 15,2013

Posted by the joint support team at the request of Switzerland (Thursday 14 Nov)

This indicator was created to monitor donor’s commitments presented in their respective implementation plan of the common standard. Providers of development cooperation, including non-IATI  agreed on a common standard combining IATI standard, Creditor Reporting System and Forward Spending Survey, The scoring method proposed in this proposal will disadvantage agencies and organisations that have not signed up IATI- standard and report or will report under the less ambitious common standard.

Implementation schedules are a result of internal negotiated processes in order to adapt internal statistical systems and not all Busan signatories are able to respond to IATI-standard, but still conceded a lot of efforts to reach  their transparency commitments.

Niels KNUDSEN a Program Management Specialist Development Effectiveness from Tanzania, United Republic of
Fri, November 15,2013

Many congrats to the joint UNDP-OECD team for preparing what appears to be a well-balanced compromise that will generate important information for further dialogue at both international level as well as national level. As such, piloting of the proposed will be key to better inform the Mexico Ministerial meeting next year and avoid that momentum on the transparency agenda is lost. 

From the recent e-consultations and underscored during the IATI meeting in October, it is clear that more efforts are needed to ensure comprehensiveness and inclusiveness of the standard. As others have pointed out, some of the critical areas, particularly from a partner country angle, include:

-       Continued attention to the need to better link IATI with national AIMS. Currently much duplication of work and reporting takes place. As such, generation of more concrete lessons through pilots is key.

-       Quality of data remains the overarching challenge also at partner country level as this is where imprecise data really impacts development planning and execution, results in delays, and affects the development budget credibility. Moving forward, this should be kept at the heart of dialogue.

-       Momentum. Similarly to the need for sustaining transparency on the global agenda, there is also a need to keep the momentum at partner country level where signs of increasing fragmentation, diversification of aid providers and migration away from traditionally harmonized approaches and instruments.

All the best
Niels Knudsen
Development Partners Group Secretariat/UNDP, Tanzania

Hubert Drolet a Team Leader, Statistical Analysis, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada from Canada
Thu, November 14,2013

Please see attached comments

Attachment(s) Comments by Canada on Transparency Indicator 2013-11-14.docx
Hector Corrales a Hector Corrales - Director for International Cooperation from Honduras
Thu, November 14,2013

Hello all.

First off, many thanks to everyone who put such good work into this proposal.

We find that measuring donors on both systems and selecting the better score is a fair way of scoring.

As some of you are aware, Honduras has been a very vocal actor in aid transparency efforts. We strive to bring the experience of a partner country that is taking real measures to improve the quality of the data that we collect.

As it is disclaimed in the proposal, this indicator cannot address broader aspects of transparency. That's understandable. Nonetheless, part of the picture is missing in this proposal. Usability is paramount to the efforts being made on reaching a common standard and getting timely data in the hands of people on the field.

I also see some concernes from DP's with timeliness vs. usability

A footnote mentions that usability is aspirational and something that we can touch later on. I understand that trying to measure usability is a daunting task and it can't be done without knowing firsthand how data is/can be used in the field.

I feel, however, that there is still room in this proposal to bring a touch of usability into how the single indicator is calculated for each DP:

1) Timeliness and Time lag scores.

When we talk about timeliness, we can't leave usability out of the conversation. Even if we don't have a clear idea on how to measure usability, timeliness should be regarded as an underlying condition for usability, and only after that, be measured. The scoring methodology for timeliness (frequency and lag) are ok but the points gained in each of the tiers, specifically in the lag category should be reconsidered.

The time lag score is necessary, but it is a funky way to measure performance; we're giving points based on how "not-bad" the lag is. Furthermore, the point scale ascends in a linear manner, which really obscures the fact that year-old data's usability is close to zero, semester-old data is somewhat usable but only for reporting purposes, and usability only starts kicking in when we have 3 month-old data. Month old data is Mt. Everest, and the reward for effort should therefore be higher.

For this reason, I would like to see a point scale in the time-lag category that does not ascend linearly, but rather exponentially:

Annual Lag: 0, Semi-Annual Lag: 2, Quarterly Lag: 4, Monthly lag: 8

I have my doubts on whether this would work without changing other point scales or if the equal weighting of the three factors can accomodate this change.


2) Level of Detail:

At this point, it is probably unfeasible to make such a drastic change in they this category is scored, but the way it is measured is too simplistic. the second version of this indicator should definitely address this point. 

Mainly, scanning which fields have information and which ones don't applies equal importance to all fields, and this is simply not the case. Some fields have higher priorities for practical users of the data. Some fields are easy to fill and some are not. Providing the same score incentive across the board sends the message that data users care equally for all fields. Obviously we care a lot about the Project's Name, it's development objectives and it's expected results. We also care about financial information, but if this information isn't tied to qualitative data about what the actual efforts are, we lose sight of why it's important to have comprehensive data.

For future versions of the indicator, we would like to see weights applied to each field and not scored on a yes/no basis. This will most likely neccesitate wide consultations with data users and partner countries.

Best regards,

Hector Corrales - Director for International Cooperation - Ministry of Planning, Honduras.



Tânia Montalvão from Portugal
Thu, November 14,2013

Portugal´s comments on the transparency indicator proposal

Attachment(s) Portugal comments on the transparency indicator_VF.docx
Tânia Montalvão from Portugal
Thu, November 14,2013

Portugal´s comments on the transparency indicator proposal

Attachment(s) Portugal comments on the transparency indicator_VF.docx
Hanna-Mari Kilpeläinen a Sweden
Thu, November 14,2013

Posted by the joint support team at the request of Sweden:

Attachment(s) Comments by Sweden.pdf
Brian Baldwin
Thu, November 14,2013

Please see the atached file "MDB's Comments" which is a consolidated set of comments provided  by the MDB MfDR working group. With thanks for the opportunity to comment and we look forward to working with  members to further develop the indicator.


Attachment(s) MDBs Comments onTransparency Indicator 14-11-2013.docx
Claudia Hiepe from Germany
Thu, November 14,2013

Dear all,

first of all we would like to thank the OECD-UNDP joint support team for sharing the indicator proposal to measure transparency and inviting everyone to comment. We have read all the various comments from WP Stat Bureau, PWYF as well as various multilateral and bilateral donors with great interest. We hope that at least some of the specific, practical comments can still be taken on board by the secretariat when finalizing the indicator for piloting.

While agreeing that the proposed transparency indicator is a compromise with limitations and that a longer and even more inclusive consultation process would have been desirable, we can agree with the proposed approach and construction for a first piloting. We believe the piloting of the indicator will be one key element for facilitating strong political attention to transparency at the Mexico High Level Meeting.

We believe the proposed indicator reflects most of the principles agree at the beginning of the process, including coverage of the three dimensions (timely, comprehensive, forward looking) and the currently existing three components of the Common Open Standard (CRS, IATI, FSS). However, we also have a clear expectation that technical and methodological limitations of the indicator will be addressed after the Mexico meeting.

Following this main, supportive feedback, we have the following critical comments:

1. We share some of the specific concerns/questions raised by Norwegen regarding the level of detail: why optional IATI fields should be treated as mandatory IATI fields?
2. We very much regret that a quality and reliability measure (as stated in the principles) has not been included in the indicator at this stage. While this is certainly not easy we believe this is of fundamental importance for the credibility of the indicator and an important element for the comprehensiveness data (currently treated narrowly by level of detail only). Ignoring this may set wrong incentives for IATI publishers speeding up frequency of data release before putting in place proper quality assurance processes. We also feel that efforts of donors, like Germany, that have invested and are investing a lot in high quality CRS data are not being rewarded.
3. Especially in the absence of a scoring for quality and reliability (comparative strength of CRS) the scoring for timeliness (comparative strength of IATI) may lead to a favoring of IATI versus CRS. In the absence of one truly coherent standard our understanding is that all 3 current components of the Common Open Standard should be treated equally.
4. We would be interested to receive some clarifications /answers to the questions raised by Hedi Riegler, Chair WP-Stat (personal impressions) regarding her questions on the definition of “total ODF”.
5. We share the concern raised by some regarding current limited usability of either IATI, CRS or FSS data at partner country level. There is probably much to be done to enhance data use at country level for all three components of the Common Open Standard, in line with their comparative advantages. A measure that addresses usability might be something to consider in the long-run but seems very difficult at this stage.

Best wishes,

Claudia Hiepe
(Transparency Focal Point, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany)

Timo Wilkki
Thu, November 14,2013

Dear all,

As you may be aware the EU has been quite consistent and vocal in its call for finalisation of the Busan Global Partnership monitoring framework and finding an agreement on the 'missing' indicators. The EU is also a strong advocate of transparency as one of its main priorities for Busan and Global Partnership work.

Therefore, the European Commission welcomes the proposal for transparency indicator submitted by the Global Partnership joint support team.  For us this is a significant step forward and very important to allow and facilitate strong political attention to transparency in the Mexico High Level Meeting.

We understand that the transparency indicator, as now proposed, is a result of long and challenging consultations. We congratulate all involved in this process for the reasonable compromise reached. While understanding the limitations of the indicator, we can agree with the approach and construction as proposed. We trust the indicator will provide useful information on the progress made in the implementation of the common standard as agreed in Busan taking into consideration the main criteria of timeliness, comprehensiveness and forward looking nature of individual providers’ electronic publication of information.

The proposal states that there is room for evolution for this indicator. The need for adjustments should be assessed after the first round of measurement and after the Mexico High Level Meeting. If needed, the Commission is ready to participate in any further work on developing the indicator.

Thank you for the good work for all involved.

Best regards,

Timo Wilkki

Alexandra Le Moniet a MDB from Italy
Thu, November 14,2013

Posted by the joint team at the request of MDB

Attachment(s) MDBs Comments onTransparency Indicator 14-11-2013.docx
Reidun Gjengedal
Thu, November 14,2013

Norwegian comments on the transparency indicator proposal attached.

Attachment(s) Comments regarding the proposed Transparency indicator.pdf
Reinout van Santen from United States
Thu, November 14,2013

Dear community members. Thank you for your comments and interest. I'm sharing with you a very interesting comment that was made by Ula Järvelä-Seppinen from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland which was accedently posted on the download page of Transperency Indicator Proposal document instead of this main discussion thread. 


The Unit for General Development Policy and Planning staff have studied the indicator as well as the WP Stat Bureau comments on the proposed transparency indicators and recognize the challenges that relate to measuring a common standard that consists of parallel systems. Actually, we do not see a major discrepancy in using the application of more than one system as an indicator for coverage, since it relates to users’ possibility to access information in different sources that serve different purposes. The point of providing useful, timely and relevant information for partner countries is important. 

While the current proposal is not flawless, in our opinion it provides a starting point and offers a possibility to test the methodology. Piloting the indicator could help capture the key elements of transparency, and could help the information providers identify challenges both in their own reporting as well as identify needs to further development their systems. At best it could catalyze more intensive knowledge sharing in the area of information management.

In short, we think that the indicator should be piloted before the Mexico meeting. The narrative related to reports should openly point out the limitations pointed out in other comments. If the results will then be considered useless, a decision can be made NOT to use them as a baseline data (a risk pointed out by the WP Stat related to setting a baseline that will not be comparable if the indicator will be further developed). We consider that risk smaller than the political risk of loosing the momentum: right now transparency is a key Busan theme to several stakeholders, and supported at the highest levels of policy making. 

Best regards,
Ulla Järvelä-Seppinen

Ulla Järvelä-Seppinen
Fri, November 15,2013

Dear Reinout!Thanks for transfering our message to the right place!


Kevin Gardner
Thu, November 14,2013

UK DFID's feedback on the transparency indicator proposal attached

Attachment(s) UK feedback on the proposed transparency indicator.docx
Alexandra Le Moniet a Emily Bosch, Policy Specialist, UNDP from Ethiopia
Thu, November 14,2013

Posted by the joint team at the request of Emily Bosch

Clearly a lot of hard work and compromise has gone into this indicator! I think we have to fully recognize that this compromise has come at the expense of simplicity (even if I understand that the indicator could have been more complicated!)

Accepting this as a starting point, I would just point to two perspectives based on my knowledge of the data systems and my experience so far in Ethiopia.

1/ At the country-level, development finance transparency is important for government and development partners (DPs) to know who’s doing what in the country to promote more effective partnerships/development (sectors/regions), to build on synergies, and avoid duplication. For government, actual and forward information is important so that they can plan for: (a) volume of foreign exchange to expect in the coming years; and (b) budgets/MTEFs/programming. 

To-date, the Ethiopian Government (and I think it wouldn't be a stretch to say most SSA countries) neither uses IATI, CRS, nor the FSS for any of these purposes. Instead, it relies on information from bilateral interactions with individual donors including in the context of a new multi-year country program or strategy, details from signed project agreements, and aid information management systems. There is talk of pilots to explore automatic IATI feeds into different aid management systems, and we have been comparing IATI feeds with country-level information as a starting point, but we are still some way from integrating information at the global and country-levels. 

Therefore, we must acknowledge that in today’s context the indicator is useful as a global metric to assess DPs and put them in 5 broad categories (A-E) depending on the coverage, level of detail and timeliness of past and future flows. In acknowledging this, we also admit that this is then completely disconnected from what happens at the point of delivery, which invariably also includes an important political element. In future monitoring rounds, it would be good to ask countries to provide specific feedback on transparency which is more likely to be about their access to good information, regardless of the form it takes.

2/ With regards to the forward-looking information, providing data to the Forward Spending Survey team or IATI has no bearing as to whether the information is actually shared at the country level today even if consent has been given by HQs to share this information and/or it is readily available from IATI (see thoughts about how Governments get their information in #1). Since the indicator does not intend to (and cannot) measure whether forward information is shared directly with the partner country, I would argue that this is one area where there may be scope to simplify the indicator by only scoring for aggregate and semi-aggregate (sector-level) forward-looking information. At this point, future activity-level data is best dealt with at the country-level directly where the level of detail of such commitments is to a certain extent already captured when multi-year projects/programs are signed and where country offices are usually better placed to provide such information within the wider political and economic contexts.

Katsunori Uehara a Government Official from Japan
Thu, November 14,2013

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan's eedback on the proposed transparency indicator

Attachment(s) Japan's position on transparent indicator.pdf
Andrew Clarke
Thu, November 14,2013

Publish What You Fund took part in the “ad hoc group” that was consulted about the development of this proposal. I would like to thank the GPEDC Support Unit for their hard work and for proposing a balanced position. It is not perfect but it is representative of the common standard compromise and should therefore be endorsed. Failing to agree to pilot the indicator now will mean that transparency will not be properly represented at the GPEDC high-level meeting in Mexico in April. Considering that 2015 is the deadline set by Busan, we cannot afford to wait any longer before producing an initial assessment of progress towards that goal. 

I would like to respond to the position paper of the DAC Working Party on Statistics (WP-STAT) Bureau and the chair’s personal appendix. In summary, I find the Bureau’s position disappointing, in that it effectively rejects the approach being proposed for the GPEDC Transparency Indicator. I will not go through the Bureau position line by line but I would like to point out some errors and assertions that undermine an open approach to aid information.

1. In several places (e.g. point 4 in the “Bureau position” and in the appendix), the position questions the usability of IATI data in partner countries. This misses the point in three important ways:

a. IATI is still a very new standard. The Bureau position states that there is “concern about the usefulness of transactional data in XML format to recipient countries at this time.” Donors are well aware of the current limitations on use, principally because most organisations are still in process of implementing the standard. This is not a reflection of the standard itself but rather the state of implementation (the indicator is meant to spur progress on this!).

b. Previous reporting systems (e.g. the CRS) are not useful to, or regularly used by, partner countries. This was a major factor in why IATI was developed – so that partner countries could have access to useful, usable information to support their own planning. [This is not to question the utility of the CRS as an important statistical resource for donors.]

c. The assertions regarding accessibility of IATI data are out of date; the IATI datastore offers database access.

2. In her personal appendix, the WP-STAT chair is unhappy with the label “transparency indicator” because the common standard does not represent all aspects of aid transparency. That is certainly true but also overly literal. For example, the results indicator does not measure every aspect of results information yet the label is kept simple for broader understanding. It is well understood that the common standard was a political compromise, representing the widest consensus possible on aid transparency in Busan.

3. This preoccupation with transparency appears to be contradicted in point 8 of the “Bureau position” when discussing forward looking information: “The indicator here devalues providers that share their data with recipient countries but not publically.” This completely misses the point of Busan – all actors should have access to this information, not just select officials. The Busan agreement specifically cites the information needs of non-state actors, as well as governments and donors.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Best wishes

Andrew Clarke

Advocacy Manager, Publish What You Fund






Andrew Clarke

Advocacy Manager

T: +44 (0)20 3176 2512

M: +44 (0)7813 184499            

Twitter/Skype: andrew_c_clarke



Lucretia Ciurea from Monaco
Wed, November 13,2013

Dear Joint
Support Team,

 Thank you
for your job on elaborating the framework for the Transparency Indicator. I
find it well designed but not fully following the simplicity principle.
Fortunately for us, developing countries, this exercise will be a desk review
and will not involve data collection at the country level.  $23c aimed at
implementation of standards by December 2015. The scoring of three elements
will allow us to see     only partially
the achievements of $23. Even if at the country level measures will be
undertaken in order to enhance financial management and aid information systems
(in ideal life it should be part of PFM) the usage of this information by
stakeholders still requires attention. Therefore, we hope that after
December  2015, the indicator will have
covered this aspect as well.

Again usage
of wording of two systems CRS and IATI reporting is misleading. IATI is a
common standard (as we were told) on what and how to be published. CRS is
publishing data sets for a longer period but all discussion around the
transparency were because of elements of i)timeliness, ii) level of detail and
iii) forward looking nature was not covered in.  And ACCRA, BUSSAN were pressing on this aspect
to be solved. For data users (all stakeholder in decision-making process) is
important to have this elements of data available.  To what extend would the transparency
indicator answer to this and will channel in the right way the movement let see
after the first pilot.      

I thank again your team and all those involved, looking forward for the pilot results


Alexandra Le Moniet a Hedwig Riegler, Chair of the Working Party on Development Finance Statistics from Germany
Wed, November 13,2013

Posted by the joint team at the request of Hedwig Riegler, WP-STAT chair

Attachment(s) Bureau position on transparency indicator final.pdf
WP-STAT Chair’s Observations from Participation in the Common Standard Core Group Developing the Indicator Proposal.pdf

Dear Adamu,

Thank you for your comment. We take note of your message and will forward it on to our internal working group.

The Community@EffectiveCooperation - Team
Adamu Abdullahi a Monitoring and Evaluation Expert from Nigeria
Tue, November 05,2013

Most bilateral and multi-lateral donors supply information pertaining to grants and credits disbursement in Nigeria.there is need for improvement in inclusive partnership development.

Type forum
Date Created Wed, October 30,2013
Created By Lauren Smith
Original Space Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Community
Cross posted in Annelise PARR
Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Community
Busan Common Standard Global Transparency Indicator - Ad Hoc Group
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