This blog post was written in conjunction with Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey.
The Brookings Institution hosted an event in conjunction with Publish What You Fund on Thursday, January 19th to discuss progress made in regards to foreign aid transparency. Video of the event is available here.
The event featured a keynote address from USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, who highlighted the Obama Administration’s recent leadership in promoting international transparency with the Open Government Partnership and ForeignAssistance.gov.
Other speakers included Karin Christiansen, managing director of Publish What You Fund; George Ingram, chair emeritus and senior advisor for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition; and Daniel Kaufmann, a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.
The speakers emphasized the steps the U.S. has taken toward increased transparency of foreign aid, and reiterated the importance of transparency to reducing corruption, promoting accountability, and generating good policy.
However, the speakers made it clear that there is still a long way to go to ensuring true transparency and accountability in this area. Moving forward, hurdles such as a widespread “culture of control,” frequent fear of disclosing mistakes, and the reality of limited time and resources need to be overcome.