Over on the Aid Watch blog—home to notorious aid critic Bill Easterly and the official blog of New York University’s Development Research Institute (DRI)—Laura Freschi analyzes the foreign assistance dashboard. Freschi argues it will be a long time till the dashboard includes data “that actually matters to anyone tracking where the money goes and measuring its impact.” Currently, the dashboard beta version features only information from the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and only appropriated funds at that.
“Pretty charts” aside, Freschi points to an optimistic editorial that highlights the central role transparency plays in making aid more effective. Owen Barder, a member of the aid info team at Development Initiatives and a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, points to all the recent steps taken to improve and make universal aid transparency standards. Barder writes: “It democratises aid, removing the monopoly of information and power from governments and aid professionals. It inspires innovation and informs learning. It reduces bureaucracy. It also makes it possible for communities to collaborate, for citizens to hold governments to account and for the beneficiaries of aid to speak for themselves. With a new global standard for sharing information, aid in the information age will look very different from the past.” Read the rest of his piece here.