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Haiti Quake: Four Years Later, We Still Don’t Know Where the Money Has Gone

January 12, 2014 marks the fourth anniversary of the massive quake in Haiti that left over 200,000 people dead and several million people homeless.  The response from rich countries was overwhelming—over $9 billion was disbursed towards relief and reconstruction efforts ($3 billion from the United States, an estimated $3 billion in private contributions, and another $3 billion from foreign governments).

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.