Accountability & transparency

Can we get the World Bank to say the D- word?

UPDATE 10/12 1PM: we have a winner! (see end of post)
UPDATE: No winnners yet, see end of post.
Following last Friday’s post on the New Yorker profile of Justin Lin, I had this email exchange with the World Bank media officer David Theis, who kindly responded promptly to my inquiries.
Original Inquiry Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 11:30 AM:
David Theis
Media Chief, World Bank

InterAction’s statement on NGO accountability

Editor’s note: Aid Watch asked InterAction for a contribution to the debate originally sparked by Till Bruckner’s post The accidental NGO and USAID transparency test. See below for a list of all related posts.
Statement from Barbara J. Wallace, InterAction’s Vice President of Membership and Standards, on NGO Accountability

Return to TransparencyGate: Humanitarian Accountability Partnership weighs in

Editor’s note: Aid Watch asked HAP for a contribution to the debate originally sparked by Till Bruckner’s post The accidental NGO and USAID transparency test. See below for a list of all related posts.
The HAP (Humanitarian Accountability Partnership) Secretariat is encouraged that issues of NGO accountability are being discussed in fora such as this, and in particular that the debate is now going beyond the sector.

Statement from CARE on Bruckner FOIA Request

AidWatch received the following statement from CARE regarding Till Bruckner’s AidWatch post on USAID and NGO transparency:
Statement from CARE (Aug. 30, 2010):

Transparency International clarifies the debate, deplores attacks on Till Bruckner

Editor’s note: Transparency International Georgia submitted this contribution to the debate originally sparked by Till Bruckner’s post The accidental NGO and USAID transparency test.
We at TI Georgia have closely followed this debate about whether and to what extent USAID and its NGO contractors should make their budgets public. Till Bruckner began his quest for answers while he was working with us in 2008-09, although his pursuit of the NGO budgets via FOIA requests to USAID was not conducted under the auspices of TI Georgia.

NGO Transparency: Counterpart International to release budget

Editor’s note: Aid Watch received the following statement from Counterpart International in response to a request for comment on Till Bruckner’s post The accidental NGO and USAID transparency test.

Our internal foreign aid program

The US Recovery Act (aka “stimulus package”) has put out this great map of where the money is being spent by Congressional District.

Response from Mercy Corps on Transparency

Editor’s note: Aid Watch received the following from Mercy Corps in response to a request for comment on Till Bruckner’s post The accidental NGO and USAID transparency test. We have reproduced the Mercy Corps response here in full:

USAID and NGO transparency: When in doubt, hide the data

by Till Bruckner, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol and former Transparency International Georgia aid monitoring coordinator
In my last blog post on this website, I claimed that some NGOs had instructed USAID to hide part or all of their project budgets in a FOIA response, and praised others for their openness. Aid Watch subsequently contacted all NGOs mentioned in the piece for comments.
In its response, World Vision denied ever having asked USAID to withhold budgetary information:

World Vision responds on transparency

Editor’s note: we are posting the following note received in its entirety from World Vision.
World Vision Statement
In response to the Aid Watch post: The Accidental NGO and USAID Transparency Test

NGO Response: CNFA Reaffirms Commitment to Transparency

Editor’s note: We emailed every organization mentioned in Till Bruckner’s recent blog post, The accidental NGO and USAID Transparency Test to ask for their comment. CNFA sent us a response (also posted on their website) this afternoon, which we are reproducing here in full:

Till Bruckner Responds to Critics on Meaningful Transparency

The following post was written by Till Bruckner, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol and former Transparency International Georgia aid monitoring coordinator.

The accidental NGO and USAID transparency test

The following post was written by Till Bruckner, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol and former Transparency International Georgia aid monitoring coordinator.  An op-ed from Bill in Monday’s Wall Street Journal mentioned Till’s struggles with USAID; here Till provides the details.
The aid industry routinely pushes institutions in developing countries to become more transparent and accountable. But a slow and almost comically incomplete donor response to a request to see some specific project budgets sheds light on exactly how willing donors are to apply such “best practices” to themselves.

A spoonful of transparency: good but no cure-all

The New York Times ran a story last week about a five-year-old Indian law that reinforces the right—and sets in place the process—for individuals to request government-held information.
Ms. Chanchala Devi, for example, applied for a government grant she had heard was available to help poor people like her build their own houses. After four years of fruitless waiting, she used India’s Right-to-Know law to request a list of people who had received the money while she had not. Within days, the story reported, Ms. Devi’s own funding came through. The story continues:

Syndicate content