WASHINGTON, November 25, 2011 – The World Bank, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Estonia, and Finland announced today their endorsement of the Open Aid Partnership to visualize their development assistance through innovative technologies, particularly through web-based open collaborative maps. The immediate goal is to synchronize the mapping tools among donors and pilot its use in certain countries to better monitor the impact of development programs on citizens, and seek direct feedback on project results.
The Open Aid Partnership (OAP) is facilitated by the World Bank Institute (WBI) and builds on the Mapping for Results Initiative, which has mapped 30,000 projects in all 143 of the World Bank partner countries, and overlays this data with sub-national poverty and human development indicators at the local level.
“We are starting to realize the enormous potential of visualizing the projects we finance and of providing a platform to give a voice to the people who benefit from them,” said Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President of WBI. “We are very pleased that many partners are willing to join in this effort through the Open Aid Partnership.”
The OAP will:
- Map activities supported by development assistance and create a web-based collaborative Open Aid Map that improves coordination, efficiency, transparency, impact and accountability of development assistance.
- Support developing countries in building national mapping platforms.
- Promote citizen feedback initiatives for better reporting on development assistance and public service provision in order to enhance transparency and accountability.
- Build capacity of civil society to act as information intermediaries for citizens and make these maps more accessible, as well as the capacity of public service providers to receive and respond to feedback.
- Evaluate the development impact of national mapping platforms and feedback initiatives on public services and related capacity building.
"Transparency of public budgets, service delivery, and development assistance is critical for accountable governance and citizen engagement. Therefore, we are supporting transparency and open aid to promote greater knowledge sharing and accountability," said Pieter Dorst, Head of the Aid Effectiveness Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands.
Currently, there are several countries that are piloting Open Aid. Malawi is leading the first pilot and, in cooperation with AidData, has geo-coded aid activities of 27 different donors working across the country. This means that for the first time a map can visualize all local aid flows. Open Aid pilots in Nepal, Kenya and Indonesia are currently underway.
“Being able to see in a map all the donor funded activities in Malawi has transformed the way we think about development and positively helped our own planning effort,” said Hon. Ken Lipenga, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Malawi.
The Open Aid Partnership builds on the International Aid Transparency Initiative data standard to make aid information more accessible and meaningful to citizens, and is complementary to ongoing efforts of the Open Government Partnership. It will be implemented in coordination with Development Gateway and other technical partners.
Key members of the Open Aid Partnership will further update the wider development community at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan (Korea) on November 30 at an event “Putting Transparency, Accountability, and Results into Action” jointly organized by the Korean Development Institute, UNICEF, Development Gateway and WBI. Besides the Open Aid Partnership, the event will present and discuss several practical on-going initiatives to make aid more transparent and empower citizens to hold public service providers better accountable.