NGO Transparency in Action
On 2 May, Dóchas hosted a conference entitled “Initiate – Transparency In Action“.
The idea behind the conference was to bring NGOs, academia, and Irish Aid representatives together to learn how the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) could help further strengthen transparency and Accountability in the sector.
IATI is not just for geeks, and it is not just about information and data – it’s about better development. In the words of APC Colombia, “An investment in better information is an investment in better development”.
Dóchas has long argued that NGOs’ main asset is the trust in which members of the public hold them. And that trust must be earned and protected. For us, transparency is a key ingredient in NGO accountability, which in turn is the key ingredient in our quest for ever greater impact.
For this reason, we have argued that NGOs need to set standards for their work and to ensure that these standards are applied across the sector.
And we welcome the Government’s plans to finally implement the 2009 Charities Regulation Act and made a submission on behalf of Dóchas members. After all, if NGOs are calling on governments to be more accountable, for international retailers to have transparent and for ethical supply chains, then we as NGOs also need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to be transparent and accountable.
IATI’s first annual report is the latest milestone on its journey to helping us transform aid transparency. It started with a mantra of ‘publish what you can’. But many donors have risen to, and exceeded, the challenge, often publishing more and better data through IATI than they were previously making available publicly.
On 2 May, Dóchas committed to putting transparency into action and that we will publish to IATI standards by the end of the year. We also committed to working in the spirit of partnership with Dóchas member organisations and Irish Aid – to learn from each other, and from peers in UK/ Netherlands and beyond, as to what works and what doesn’t and to exchange best practice and experience.