Making Development Aid in Asia More Transparent

Article | 17 February 2012

The debate on the effectiveness of development aid has intensified in recent years, particularly as we approach 2015, the target year for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. A number of global forums have been held - most recently in Busan - to find ways to improve aid effectiveness, including how to promote greater transparency in aid delivery.

Questions that have been asked at these forums include:

  1. How much aid is provided by donors?
  2. How much aid is received by developing countries?
  3. Who are the top donors in particular countries?

It is challenging to measure aid when there are multiple channels and types of assistance, from bilateral to multilateral, and the data generated is not always presented in a comparable way. While there is already too much information out there, a consolidated representation of aid flows is hard to find.

In response, ADB teamed with the World Bank Group and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) to provide a clearer picture by creating AidFlows, a new website to visualize how much development aid is provided and received around the world. The website's concise, user-friendly format, using charts, graphs and maps, provides a visual portrayal of the volume and structure of aid funding.

The goal of this partnership is to increase transparency by providing decision makers, opinion leaders and the public with a tool to search which countries and which sectors receive global aid. By using this website, donors and beneficiaries would know how much aid donor countries are providing and in what way recipient countries are benefiting.

For each country, there are indicators of data on the type of aid received; the top 10 donors for a country; and information on the sector breakdown of aid, such as how much funding goes to health, education, or environment. The site also allows users to compare aid flow information between individual countries.

ADB hopes that AidFlows can provide easily accessible and understandable key facts needed for an informed dialogue about the trends and challenges of development aid.