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Data Transparency, Accountability Improved When Donors Channel Money Through Local Actors

Devex: Ebola and information: Why donors must publish what they fund
Rupert Simons, CEO of Publish What You Fund, and Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, human rights lawyer in Sierra Leone

“…When aid is not transparent, governments are unable to plan or manage their funds effectively and direct them to areas that most need them. … Transparency is enhanced when donors channel their money through local actors, including government, civil society, and the local private sector. When donors use country systems to deliver aid, the parliamentarians and citizens of that country have an incentive to follow the money and make sure it is used wisely. This aligns with the interest of the donors to make sure funds are not diverted. … Sierra Leonean citizens, quite rightly, demanded that their government account for how it spends their money. It is time to demand the same of aid donors, agencies and NGOs, whose budgets are often greater but who are much less accountable. We therefore call on everyone in the development community: If you produce data, publish it. If you have data, use it. If you don’t have data, demand it” (7/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.