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Improved Transparency For DoD Development Assistance Would Help Coordination, Resiliency

The Hill: Will the new Congress be serious about accountability?
Diana Ohlbaum, an independent consultant who serves as co-chair of the Accountability Working Group of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network

“…Given the Pentagon’s prominent role in building everything from foreign militaries to Ebola treatment facilities, American taxpayers have a right to know how this money is being spent and what is being achieved. Yet once again this year, the DoD earned a ‘poor’ rating in the 2014 Aid Transparency Index. … Among U.S. government agencies, the MCC came in first (making it the only U.S. agency among the top seven internationally), followed by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), USAID, the State Department, and the Treasury Department. The Department of Defense received the lowest score of the bunch, ranking 38 among 68 donors analyzed. … As the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) explains in a recent paper on aid effectiveness, if we want to ensure that our aid has maximum positive impact, then we need data that can be used to compare costs and benefits across programs and to obtain feedback from local stakeholders. Aid transparency not only improves coordination within and between governments, but helps to build stronger, more resilient, and more capable partners by empowering civil society to serve as a check and balance on executive authority…” (11/6).