The Asian Development Bank (ADB) again ranked first as the most transparent development aid organisations in the world, followed by the World Bank - International Development Association (IDA), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) according to a new report rating aid transparency.
The report titled "The 2020 Aid Transparency Index (ATI)" – an independent measurement of aid transparency among the world's major aid organisations – produced by the UK-based Publish What You Fund released its seventh edition today (June 24).
The index showed multilateral development banks dominated the top five spots this year.
Despite topping the 2020 index, ADB's aid transparency score dropped to 98.04 points out of 100 from 98.6 points in 2018 while the World Bank - IDA increased its score by 11 points compared with 2018 to reach second place.
The index assessed a total of 47 major aid and development agencies worldwide and grouped them into five categories based on their overall scores. They are: "very good" (80–100 points), "good" (60–80 points), "fair" (40–60 points), "poor" (20–40 points) and "very poor" (0–20 points).
The score is based on 35 indicators under five categories: finance and budgets, joining-up development data, organisational planning and commitments, project attributes, and performance.
This year, 11 donor organisations have been classified as "very good" on the index and the number in "good" increased by two to 15.
This means that over half of the 47 assessed donors are now ranked as "good" or "very good."
The report highlighted that donors in the "very good" category generally published comprehensive data in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard that is: comparable, standardised, machine readable, timely, and forward-looking.
Many donors moved towards greater transparency. In the 2018 edition, six donors were in the poor category. All of them improved their transparency.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), and the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK FCO) improved from the "poor" category to "fair."
Meanwhile, the other three, Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), moved straight to the "good" category from "poor."
MFAT made the highest jump from 31.1 points to 77.6 points.
The report highlighted four donors were in the "very poor" category on this index, and just one donor, the US Department of Defense, scored in the "poor" category.
A total of 16 organisations were fair in transparency. Most of them from European countries such as: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, France, the UK.
Among them, the World Bank - International Finance Corporation (IFC) improved its transparency score but remained in the fair category. Moreover, it dropped in the ranking by four notches to 31.
Gary Forster, CEO of Publish What You Fund, said, "The transparency of international aid is more important than ever. As large quantities of aid are quickly reallocated to deal with the Covid-19 emergency, the decisions and actions taken should be open to public scrutiny. Aid transparency is a key way to improve the efficiency of resource allocation, coordination of the response, and for donors to learn from one another's interventions."
The index will be launched today (June 24) at a webinar hosted by the Brookings Institution at 3pm BST.