March 26, 2010Matthew Olivier
Press release from the recent AidData event in Oxford, UK. Doug Hadden, VP Products at FreeBalance participated in the IATI technical advisor group (TAG), which works with the AidData group. As a contributing member of TAG, FreeBalance has provided insight into how governments classify funds, programs, projects, and sectors. Below is an excerpt from the announcement:
“AidData pulls together facts and figures from existing databases, donors’ documents, online resources and insights gleaned from direct contacts between its creators and donors. Participants at a conference to showcase the portal described it as the most comprehensive source of information on global development and emergency aid to date.
For example, existing data captures only 39 percent of aid given to Mauritania in 2007 while AidData can provide a much fuller picture, said Rob Hicks, an associate professor of economics at the U.S.-based College of William and Mary who has helped build the new tool.
Kawusu Kebbay from the Sierra Leone government office that coordinates development aid to the country said corruption in aid is worse when transparency is poor, when there are no guidelines on how to use aid or report on its distribution and when the recipient government lacks expertise and influence.
“Corruption is primarily driven by the lack of information on aid data and weak capacity,” he told an audience of researchers, aid workers and officials from donor nations at the event called “Aid Transparency and Development Finance: Lessons and Insights from AidData”.
Misuse of aid funds was highlighted by a recent U.N. report that said up to half the food aid for needy Somalis was being diverted to a network of corrupt contractors, al Shabaab militants and local U.N. staff.
And in February, watchdog Transparency International launched a handbook to help aid groups combat corruption in their operations. It advocates bringing the discussion of fraud into the open and sharing information on anti-corruption practices, among other recommendations.”
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