Craig Fagan, Senior Policy Coordinator at Transparency International, highlights some of the main initiatives and campaigns to make aid more transparent ahead of the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in South Korea.
Transparency is the trigger for change; accountability offers the mechanism to make it. This reality applies to a range of issues, especially development. With nearly US$ 130 billion spent globally on aid (also called official development assistance), transparency and accountability are the best ways to make sure these monies are effective at reaching those most in need and are not corrupted or mismanaged.
As the world leaders gear up to hammer out what more effective aid should look like next month in South Korea, let’s give them some long over-due advice. Effective aid is accountable aid that works to end global poverty. It is aid where information on flows is comparable, accessible and easy-to-understand, so every day citizens can see how much money is going where, when and what for. It is aid that fixes breakdowns in governance and prevents corruption from starting. It is aid that promotes citizen participation and ownership over the process, ensuring that citizens have the space to speak up and be heard.
Now is the time to be heard and send a clear message to governments: the South Korea meeting must result in “better aid for the world we want”. This motto is the title of a new campaign, launched by BetterAid (a 1.000-plus strong CSO platform) and GCAP (the Global Call to Action against Poverty). It is a campaign that gives all of us an opportunity to be accountable and ensure our leaders don’t forget that decisions are needed that will fight poverty, not create more of it.