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CGD Policy Blogs


Why Are US INGOs MIA from IATI?

Knowing how governments spend their assistance dollars, euros, and yen is a key contribution to broader aid effectiveness. But, it only paints part of the picture. There’s a complex (and very large) world of private and NGO implementers that actually deliver those monies on the ground whose information should be actively tracked and accounted for. For partner governments, information on aid project execution is just as valuable (if not more) than knowing where funds are being allocated.

USAID: Destined to Disappoint

The FY14 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill passed out of the House Appropriations Committee last week is a stinging reminder of the low esteem in which many members of Congress hold global development and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the primary federal agency charged with delivering US foreign assistance worldwide.

Hip-Hip Hooray: More New Aid Data from USAID & MCC

US aid agencies are on an open data roll this month. On Monday, we applauded Treasury’s release of technical assistance program data in Excel and International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) formats. Yesterday, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) released more than 53,000 FY2013 financial transaction records on the US Foreign Assistance Dashboard, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) posted much of its open data catalog information in  the IATI format on its website, too. All three agencies will likely see steady or higher marks in the 2013 Aid Transparency Index that comes out in October (but finished collecting data yesterday). Regardless, we're giving a huge “hooray” for the major boost in amount and detail of publicly-available US aid data and hope it spurs interesting analysis and ideas to better communicate and inform development policymaking and practice.


Tracking a Few of My Favorite Things: US Foreign Assistance Dashboard Data

Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, data on the US Foreign Assistance Dashboard? Yes, the one-stop-shop for US foreign assistance budget data is on my list of favorite aid things, and our Rethinking US Foreign Assistance team has a new US Foreign Assistance Dashboard Tracker (link) to encourage each of the twenty-some different US government agencies and departments to report their data, and applaud them when they do.  

Foreign Assistance Dashboard Tweaks and New Data

If you haven’t looked at the Foreign Assistance Dashboard lately, I’d suggest you do so. The government’s online platform and (eventual) one-stop-shop for storing and visualizing US aid data has some new features. There are new displays of existing data, plus the first set of USAID and MCC quarterly financial data. These tweaks and more timely data are a step in the right direction, but more US federal agencies need to leap onboard and start adding their data to the mix.