According to the non-profit organization, Publish What You Fund (PWYF), The Global Fund ranks among the top five donors of global aid for its transparency and accountability. PWYF released its Aid Transparency Index on 13 April.
The index assessed 10 donors as being “very good,” which is the top category. The other categories were “good,” “fair,” “poor,” and “very poor.” The other donors in the "very good" category included the United Nations Development Programme, which topped the index for the second times with a score of 93.3%, the (U.S.) Millennium Challenge Corporation, Unicef, the (U.K.) Department for International Development, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Sweden and the African Development Bank. PWYF said that all of the donors in the "very good" category “should be commended for their efforts in dramatically improving the timeliness and the comprehensiveness of their aid information since 2011” (when donors formally committed to make their aid transparent by 2015, and when PWYF released its first index).
For the most part, the index assesses information on the implementation of individual grants at country level. The methodology for producing the index has evolved over time. Since 2013, PWYF has been putting more emphasis on the quality of the information. PWYF fund said that despite a steady improvement in transparency since 2011, “the quality of most donors’ data is still not good enough for it to be used by other stakeholders.”
The 2016 index also showed that the Global Fund ranked first in three activity level indicators – performance, related documents, and basic information. Performance refers primarily to results. Related documents refers to memoranda of understanding, evaluations, objectives, budget documents, contracts, and tenders. Basic information covers items like implementer name and contact details.
In a statement issued by the Fund, Executive Director Mark Dybul said that “transparency is essential for any organization that invests public money for the public good. “It is in the bedrock of our founding principles, and absolutely crucial to our effectiveness.”
Editor’s note: GFO has published two commentaries recently concerning what it perceives to be gaps in transparency at The Global Fund. The commentaries focused not on grant implementation, but rather on the application and review processes, and on the appraisal of country coordinating mechanisms. The commentaries are available here and here.