UK taps technology for aid transparency, government accountability

U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening launched the Open Aid Information Platform at the Open Up! conference in London today, Nov. 13. Photo by: Patrick Tsui / Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Justine Greening announced a number of new initiatives at a tech conference Tuesday (Nov. 13). Among them: a platform that could further boost the Department for International Development’s aid transparency standing among funding organizations.

U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Greening launched DfID’s new Open Aid Information Platform at the Open Up! conference in London. The platform will provide detailed information on specific DfID projects in developing countries as well as activities by DfID partners, such as multilateral development banks and private sector contractors.

DfID’s efforts to open aid data to the public — which included making data from DfID-funded research programs available — have led Publish What You Fund to rank the U.K. aid agency at the top of its aid transparency index, which was released in October.

Greening expressed her intention to tap mobile and Internet technology to boost aid effectiveness and transparency, and ensure the participation of poor people in aid discussions.

“I am determined to use Britain’s aid to help citizens have a say in their future, speak up when they face crime or incompetence and make it easier to trade and grow businesses,” she said in a statement.

Apart from the aid platform, Greening announced DfID’s support for a mobile survey application, called MyWorld, which will allow people from Africa, Asia and Latin America to voice their opinions on what should be included in the post-2015 development agenda. She also launched a development challenge that will encourage the development of applications designed to boost government accountability. The challenge, Making All Voices Count, is a collaboration among DfID, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Swedish government and Omidyar Network.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.