MCC Ranks Number One on 2013 Aid Transparency Index


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government aid agency, was rated as the most transparent donor organization and ranked number one among 67 organizations evaluated in Publish What You Fund’s 2013 Aid Transparency Index.

The Aid Transparency Index (ATI) is recognized as the global industry standard for assessing aid transparency among leading development agencies. Publish What You Fund was started five years ago, and it is a London-based global campaign for aid transparency and open government.

The success of MCC is indicative of the important steps towards aid transparency as laid in the president’s executive order (May 9, 2013) and bulletin 12-01. Both of these not only provide comprehensive policy guidance on the collection of foreign aid data and information, but also position a U.S. agency for compliance to international standards such as the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and Open Government Partnership (OGP). The AIT survey results are a week ahead of OGP’s annual summit in London next week.

MCC’s efforts paid off as it moved up from the ninth spot (out of 72 donors) in the 2012 index to the top spot in 2013.

“Of course, it is great to be recognized for the hard thinking and hard work that so many MCC staff have put into improving our transparency practices,” wrote Sheila Herrling on the Sacramento Bee’s PR newswire. Herrling is MCC’s Vice President for Policy and Evaluation.

“But the real rewards will come when these efforts lead to the intended outcomes—when the countries we work with have the information they need to manage aid flows and when their citizens have data required to hold their own governments accountable,” Herrling continued.

This year MCC is the leader among the pack of U.S. government agencies. The U.S. Treasury came in the 19th spot, while USAID was ranked as 22nd. The World Bank – IDA took the fifth spot, just a notch behind the UNDP. China was ranked last on the index.

“MCC publishes its aid information in the IATI format, right down to results level – in contrast, there is no way to confirm even the total amount of aid provided by China,” wrote Dr. David Hall-Matthews, Managing Director of Publish What You Fund, on the ATI website.

Forty-two out of the 67 donor organizations surveyed scored “Poor” or “Very Poor.” While the top four agencies received the score of “Very Good,” five other agencies received a “Good” score and 16 scored “Fair.”

The average score of all 67 organizations, however, remains low. Twenty-six of these organizations scored less than 20 percent. This implies that while many international development commitments are made, a large number of aid organizations have room for improvement in terms of their transparency goals.

Dr. Hall-Matthews noted that several governments and organizations, including Canada, Germany, GAVI, UNDP, UNICEF and the U.S. Treasury have made vast improvements by publishing more information in “accessible and comparable formats.” He emphasized that the essential principle is for aid information to be “made publicly available in easy to use formats,” which is currently recognized as the central component of international development.

What’s next if every agency achieves the ranking that corresponds to MCC’s standard?

“Being transparent is not an end in itself, it’s a process of fulfilling a commitment to accountability,” wrote David Saldivar on the Oxfam website. Saldivar is a policy and advocacy advisor on aid transparency at Oxfam America.

He states, “Transforming the U.S. and other donors into better development partners must be the goal for which to keep striving, even for those high-quality aid data producers like MCC.”

– Flora Khoo

2013 Aid Transparency Index

Donor Organization

Ranking Score (percent) Category
U.S. – Millennium Challenge Corporation 1 88.88 Very Good
GAVI 2 87.26 Very Good
U.K. – DFID 3 83.49 Very Good
UNDP 4 83.38 Very Good
World Bank – IDA 5 73.81 Good
Global Fund 6 70.65 Good
African Development Bank 7 63.70 Good
Canada – CIDA 8 62.58 Good
Sweden – Sida 9 60.38 Good
Asian Development Bank 10 57.64 Fair
Inter-American Development Bank 11 57.11 Fair
EC-ECHO 12 54.24 Fair
EC-DEVCO 13 52.11 Fair
EC-FPI 14 51.14 Fair
Denmark – MFA 15 50.70 Fair
Netherlands – MFA 16 49.37 Fair
EC-ELARG 17 48.08 Fair
New Zealand – MFAT 18 47.76 Fair
U.S. Treasury 19 47.37 Fair
Germany – BMZ-GIZ 20 45.90 Fair
UNICEF 21 44.31 Fair
USAID 22 44.29 Fair
Germany – BMZ-KfW 23 43.71 Fair
Australia – AUSAid 24 43.12 Fair
UNOCHA 25 41.71 Fair
UK- FCO 26 34.68 Poor
U.S. Defense 27 33.68 Poor
IMF 28 31.83 Poor
World Bank – IFC 29 30.13 Poor
Korea – KOICA 30 27.94 Poor
Norway – MFA 31 26.94 Poor
Ireland – Irish Aid 32 26.65 Poor
EIB 33 26.64 Poor
EBRD 34 24.50 Poor
Czech Republic – CzDA 35 24.41 Poor
Estonia – MFA 36 23.56 Poor
Japan – JICA 37 23.51 Poor
Belgium – DGCD 38 23.40 Poor
Finland – MFA 39 22.99 Poor
U.S. State Department 40 22.14 Poor
Austria – ADA 41 20.39 Poor
Luxembourg – MFA 42 19.20 Very Poor
Gates Foundation 43 18.12 Very Poor
Switzerland – SDC 44 18.08 Very Poor
Latvia – MFA 45 17.80 Very Poor
Portugal – CICL 46 17.43 Very Poor
Spain – MAEC-AECID 47 17.41 Very Poor
Japan – MOFA 48 17.17 Very Poor
France – AFD 49 16.31 Very Poor
U.S. PEPFAR 50 16.09 Very Poor
Romania – MFA 51 14.78 Very Poor
France – MAE 52 13.25 Very Poor
France – MINEFI 53 12.17 Very Poor
UK – MOD 54 12.03 Very Poor
Slovakia – SAIDC 55 11.98 Very Poor
Brazil – ABC 56 11.82 Very Poor
Poland – MFA 57 11.35 Very Poor
Slovenia – MFA 58 10.80 Very Poor
Germany – AA 59 10.04 Very Poor
Italy – MAE 60 9.98 Very Poor
Lithuania – MFA 61 8.22 Very Poor
Cyprus – Cyprus Aid 62 6.45 Very Poor
Bulgaria –MFA 63 5.67 Very Poor
Hungary –MFA 64 4.72 Very Poor
Malta – MFA 65 3.78 Very Poor
Greece – Hellenic Aid 66 3.61 Very Poor
China – MOFCOM 67 2.22 Very Poor

Sources: ATI 2013, Publish What You Fund, Oxfam America, Sacramento Bee, The Guardian
Photo: Foreign Tanzania


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