IDB joins major international Aid Transparency Initiative

Executive Vice President Julie T. Katzman signs on to IATI at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today became a signatory of the International Aid Transparency Initiative, a voluntary, multi-stakeholder effort to make information about aid spending easier to find, use and compare.

IDB Executive Vice President Julie T. Katzman and Richard Calvert, Director General for Finance and Corporate Performance of the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, on behalf of IATI, participated in a signing ceremony at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea.

“The IDB is committed to providing its stakeholders with complete, timely, and easy to understand and use information regarding its activities and most importantly its results,” Katzman said.

Over the past two years, the IDB has increased its focus on results and made important strides in improving transparency to ensure stakeholders can track that progress. To that end, the IDB has implemented a more comprehensive access to information policy, built a new Independent Consultation and Investigative Mechanism, and publishes an annual Development Effectiveness Overview to report on progress on achieving development results.

“We are the only Multilateral Development Bank to have a minimum threshold for each project that goes to our Board that identifies the extent to which a project’s design will allow for results to be measured and evaluated,” Katzman said. “We publish our projects’ execution progress annually and we continue to improve and increase the percentage of projects that include rigorous impact evaluations. All of this is to ensure we achieve our expected results and know what works and what does not.

Our next step is to create innovative tools that can make information even more accessible, comprehensive and insightful,”said Katzman, who serves as the IDB’s Chief Operating Officer. In Busan as head of the IDB delegation, she also chaired a high level panel discussion on South-South and Triangular Cooperation and was a speaker in a panel on gender equality.

Calvert, who represented the IATI at the signing, said he welcomed the IDB’s commitment to IATI. “The public mood of today demands more transparent approaches in terms of accountability to our taxpayers,” he said. “This signature in Busan is really relevant in that the outcome document recognizes transparency as one of the core principles of effective development." 

Last year, as part of the agreement with shareholders for the IDB’s ninth capital increase, the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a new Access to Information Policy that requires disclosure of most documents related to Bank-funded projects and board meetings. The policy also provides requesters who are denied access to information with the ability to appeal to an external panel.

Such disclosure policies are quickly becoming the standard for international financial institutions and non-profit aid organizations, as donors and recipients alike endeavor to keep track of and evaluate the effectiveness of aid flows to developing countries through a variety of different channels.

IATI members agree to adhere to common standards for sharing information so that meaningful comparisons can be made.

About the IDB

Established in 1959, the IDB is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean countries. Its aim is to reduce poverty and inequality, while fostering development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way.

In addition to making loans, the Bank also provides grants and technical assistance and conducts research. Its Fund for Special Operations (FSO) provides concessional financing to the region’s most vulnerable member countries.

The Bank’s shareholders are 48 member countries, including 26 Latin American and Caribbean borrowing members, who have a majority ownership of the IDB.

About IATI

IATI was created in 2008 to help implement the transparency commitments made at the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, which was held in Accra, Ghana. IATI is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that includes donors, partner countries and civil society organizations.

IATI has developed and agreed a common, open, international standard – the IATI standard, which sets guidelines for publishing information about aid spending.