On 24 October, 2013 Publish What You Fund released the 2013 edition of their Aid Transparency Index (ATI). The ATI is the industry standard for assessing foreign assistance transparency among the world’s major donors and in 2013 included 67 donor organizations in its assessment. Publish What You Fund publishes this evaluation annually as part of their global campaign for aid transparency in which they advocate for a significant increase in the availability and accessibility of comprehensive, timely, and comparable aid information
The Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) has evaluted this assessment which also includes four European Commission departments (ECHO, DG, DEVCO, FPI). According to the BCSDN, although a change in methodology this year makes it impossible to directly compare donor performance to previous years, it is clear that one of the biggest improvers in this year’s report is the EC's Director General for Enlargement (DG Enlargement).
While the DG Enlargement was ranked as the lowest of the four EC departments which were assessed, it was one of the biggest improvers in 2013 and outranked many big bilateral donors. It performed best with regards to its organizational planning and received an overall score of 48.1%, which is commendable compared to the global average of 32.63%. Over two thirds of DG Enlargement’s data were also published in machine readable formats. While scoring relatively high in the Index there remains considerable room for improvement. DG Enlargement did not score on 13 of the 39 indicators, which included some important ones such as activity overall cost, performance results and conditions, and actual dates related to activities. DG Enlargement has been placed together with the other EC departments in the ‘Fair’ performance category.
Some recommendations from the ATI report include that DG Enlargement should improve its publication to IATI with more comprehensive data covering all areas as well as playing an active role in supporting the publication of data by other EC departments included in the management of IPA funds. DG Enlargement should follow these recommendations in order to fulfill their goal of publishing to 72% of IATI fields by 2015 so as to set a significant transparency benchmark for accession country institutions which are the benefactors of Enlargement aid.
The Brief on EU aid transparency prepared by Publish What You Fund can be accessed here.