New York — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today launched a new online portal allowing open, comprehensive public access to data on UNDP's work in 177 countries and territories, fulfilling a commitment to full transparency by 2013 above and beyond international standards
"Transparency is a top priority for UNDP and a vital element in maintaining the trust vested in us by the public and our partners. This online portal enables the public to track aid and helps our partners manage their resources more effectively," UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said.
"We are committed to working in the open, and we will continue improving the quality, quantity, and timeliness of our reporting so that our partners can monitor their investments in fighting poverty, supporting human development, and securing a sustainable future for all."
The new portal, open.undp.org, comprises comprehensive programmatic information-- from income and expenditures to activities and results--on more than 6,000 active UNDP projects, as well as those that financially closed in 2011, along with more than 8,000 outputs or results.
Users can sort projects by focus areas, funding sources, and locations and extract detailed data related to budgets, implementing organizations, and targeted results in areas from governance and rule of law to crisis prevention and recovery.
UNDP created the portal as part of its implementation of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). The portal was financed by a US$225,000 contribution from the United States, with the overall IATI effort funded through UNDP's core budget.
Beginning in 2013, updates on all UNDP's ongoing development projects will be published quarterly. Previously, UNDP published a data set for 2009-2010 expenditures as part of the IATI implementation.
UNDP, a founding member of IATI, committed to full adoption of the common aid transparency standard by 2013 to ensure publication of financial data and project information in the most transparent and accessible way.
IATI is a voluntary multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at making information about aid spending easier to access, understand, and use, and is a major catalyst of the open data movement.
Open access to aid data helps stakeholders make better-informed decisions and benchmark progress. It also supports research by academics, civil society organizations, journalists, and others seeking to advance understanding of global issues.
As a member of the IATI Secretariat, UNDP has led outreach efforts with partner countries and United Nations agencies to champion the new aid transparency standard and make it relevant for national development planning, public financial management, mutual accountability, and other processes at the country level.
In October, a leading international aid transparency organization said UNDP had "performed well" in its transparency efforts. Publish What You Fund ranked UNDP in the top 10 among 72 organizations in its 2012 Aid Transparency Index. UNDP "should be congratulated for beginning publication to the IATI Registry in November 2011," the organization said.
The Aid Transparency Index ranks 72 aid organizations across 43 different indicators every year. Organizations include traditional multilateral and bilateral donors, as well as private foundations and climate finance and development finance institutions.