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New Online Portal Aims To Comprehensively Track Global Aid Flow

“A new online information portal on aid flows around the world” aims to improve transparency and prevent billions of dollars in international aid from being misused, according to academics and aid officials who launched the tool at a conference, Reuters AlertNet reports. A working version of the portal became available for the public on Tuesday, according to the news service.  

The tool, called AidData, “pulls together facts and figures from existing databases, donors’ documents, online resources and insights gleaned from direct contacts between its creators and donors,” the news service writes (Dmitracova, 3/24). According to IRIN, “[s]ome 837,000 projects are listed on the database, which reports not only official development aid but also loans.”

Rob Hicks, AidData investigator, said the tool gives more details about each project and provides information on new sectors, “including funds provided by 36 under-reported bilateral and multilateral donors,” IRIN reports. “It is hoped the project will give donor and recipient governments, civil society organizations, beneficiaries, aid experts and the general public a fuller picture on who is funding what globally, said Hicks, which is important, he said, because ‘small donors matter.'”

Michael Tierney, director of the AidData initiative, notes that some donors – including China, Iran, Libya, Russia and Venezuela – provide limited or no information, according to IRIN (3/24).

Currently AidData “contains information only on aid donated by governments and multilateral groups like the World Bank but in the future it will also include aid flows from non-governmental and private organisations,” according to Reuters AlertNet. AidData’s funders include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation (3/24).