What are the potential benefits of aid transparency? What information is needed and how could donors make this more accessible? Survey results indicate that improved transparency of aid information would contribute to faster poverty reduction by making aid more effective and accountable. Users of aid information need more accessible, detailed, timely, and consistent information to enable them to make aid work better. Donors should therefore publish information (electronically) in more detail, using common definitions and a common format. This could both reduce costs for donors, who repeatedly provide the same information in different forms, and increase the information’s value to users.
Increased transparency of aid is a specific commitment in the 2005 Paris Declaration and of the draft Accra Agenda for Action. It is also a necessary condition for progress in the Paris principles of ownership, harmonisation, alignment, managing for results and mutual accountability. Information should be accessible through a variety of means by people in developing countries as well as in donor countries, in a form that is useful to them. Barriers are not cost or technical feasibility, but attention to the issue and coordination among donors.