CIDA joins the International Aid Transparency Initiative

November 28, 2011

The Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, announced today during the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4), that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has become a member of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).

"Accountability and transparency are the hallmarks of Canada's international assistance and Aid Effectiveness Agenda," said Minister Oda. "Increasing aid transparency is key to fostering the accountability needed for ensuring development effectiveness and results."

IATI aims to improve the public availability and accessibility of information on aid. With today's announcement, CIDA is taking a further step that will allow donors, partner countries, civil society organizations and citizens to access and use Canadian information and compare it with data from 22 other participating organizations and countries.

"Aid transparency is only a first step in ensuring accountability and results," noted Minister Oda. "We look forward to working with others to further improve transparency in both donor and recipient countries to achieve the results our citizens expect and deserve."

IATI objectives are consistent with the Government of Canada's Open Government initiative under which CIDA is taking important steps to give Canadians improved access to open data and open information. Through CIDA's Open Data, the Agency already publishes statistical and project-level information on international aid activities in searchable machine-readable formats, and project-level information for CIDA's Countries of Focus through web-based geo-mapping.

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For further information media should contact:

Justin Broekema
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: justin.broekema@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Backgrounder

Open Government

The Government of Canada's Open Government initiative aims to foster open government by offering Canadians greater opportunities to learn about and participate in government, in the economy and in our democratic process.

The expansion of open government is being pursued through Open Data (offering government data in a more useful and machine-readable format), Open Information (proactively releasing information, including government activities, to Canadians on an ongoing basis) and Open Dialogue (giving Canadians a stronger say in government policies and priorities).

This commitment to open government is part of the Government of Canada's efforts to foster greater openness and accountability, strengthen the democratic reform agenda and drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians.

For more information, visit Canada's Open Government website.

Open Government Partnership

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a new multilateral initiative intended to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. To become a member of OGP, participating countries must embrace a high-level Open Government Declaration, deliver a country action plan developed with public consultation and commit to independent reporting on their progress going forward.

The Open Government Partnership was formally launched on September 20, 2011, when the 8 founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States) endorsed an Open Government Declaration, and announced their country action plans, and welcomed the commitment of 38 governments (including Canada) to join the partnership.

More information on OGP is available at www.opengovpartnership.org

CIDA Open Data

As part of the Government of Canada Open Data portal for all Canadians, CIDA launched its Open Data website. CIDA continues to increase the quantity and accessibility of the information available, which now includes results achieved by individual projects. Statistical data and other information on Canada's international assistance and CIDA's activities are available in data sets and machine-readable formats for all Canadians: researchers, students, media or anyone interested in international assistance. Links to related reports and other data sources are also provided, and projects in CIDA's Countries of Focus are available through web-based geo-mapping.

For more information, visit CIDA Open Data website

International Aid Transparency Initiative

The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) aims to make information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand. Its purpose is to help implement the transparency commitments made at the 2008 Accra High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in the most consistent and coherent ways.

IATI is a voluntary initiative open to donors, partner countries and civil society organisations. In February 2011, IATI members agreed on a common standard—the IATI standard—that serves as a guideline for publishing information about aid spending.

IATI will not create a new database and will not replace work already being done by organizations, such as the OECD-Development Assistance Committee, to produce statistics about past aid flows and aid activities. Rather, the IATI standard builds on the standards and definitions that have already been agreed upon and enables the integration and comparison of data from multiple donors by third parties through the creation of an online registry of published data.

More information on IATI is available at www.aidtransparency.net