Make all aid transparent and accountable

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Speakers at a climate finance conference have expressed concerns about a lack of transparency in the granting and spending of funds for climate change projects.

The meeting organised by Transparency International was attended by many of the leading organisations and donors involved in climate-related projects in Bangladesh.

Participants called for precautionary action worldwide after noting that many irregularities have come to light in the disbursement of climate funds and management of projects.

The need to improve accountability applies across all levels. Strong concerns were also raised about double counting in announcements by major donors, meaning that developed nations pledges to give $10.3 billion to the Green Climate Fund are far from met.

It goes without saying that aid funds need to be fully accounted for to prevent money being misused or wasted, not least because it can lead to funds being cut, making it even harder for commitments to be met.

The best way to address these problems is for all donors and stakeholders to move towards complete transparency of aid expenditure.

This should apply across all types of aid project and build upon systems such as the Bangladesh Aid Information Management System website maintained by the ERD and DFID’s Development tracker portal.

Currently such websites provide overall budget figures and breakdowns of project frameworks. These should go further to provide a more detailed breakdown of how and where project monies are spent.

These are public monies. There is no reason why amounts given including to private firms and consultants, based both here and overseas, who are responsible for managing flows of funds, should not be publicly disclosed.

Such disclosure would not only help improve monitoring and make it easier for funds to be held accountable by beneficiaries. It would also benefit governments and tax-payers both in Bangladesh and overseas to locate and track specific projects, and help ensure proper accountability.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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