I may sound like a broken record ... but the talk about transparency and accountability and the practice of transparency and accountability are a world apart.
I have recently read (again) the press release from the UN Haiti Special Envoy (http://www.haitispecialenvoy.org/press/joint-statement-on-international-donors-conference) and it is good to see reference to accountability and transparency ... but the follow through to get this is not yet in evidence.
11. Accountability and Transparency: The Government of Haiti and the participants agreed to greater accountability and transparency. Donors declared their pledges of assistance in greater detail than for previous pledging conferences. The participants also agreed to a robust internet-based tracking system to report on the delivery of their assistance and an emphasis on measuring performance and results. Donors recognized the importance of independent monitoring of the implementation of pledges. In the interest of transparency and accountability, the entire proceedings of the donors’ conference were conducted publicly with continuous coverage through web-based broadcasting. And, in the interest of transparency and accountability, the IHRC/HDA will have a monitoring and transparency unit that will be accountable to the people of Haiti and the international public.I would like to think that this is the start of something significantly better than in the past ... but I cannot see tangible evidence of this.
I have to admit I take exception to the remark that
Donors declared their pledges of assistance in greater detail than for previous pledging conferences.since my work with the UN Pledging Conference for Namibia in 1991 had a lot more detail than seems to be in evidence in this conference. I may be wrong because I do not have any meaningful access to the detail this time round ... but the evidence points to only top-side information!
The following may be good ... but it all depends on who is handling the tracking. I have been impressed with some of the information consolidation that has been done by the UN's financial tracking service (FTS) but would observe that it is a disaster if there is the need to get some clarification about anything. It is transparency without accountability!
The participants also agreed to a robust internet-based tracking system to report on the delivery of their assistance and an emphasis on measuring performance and results. Donors recognized the importance of independent monitoring of the implementation of pledges.My guess is that the measurement of performance and results will be "stone age" metrics with little or no capacity to measure anything that is really meaningful. The idea that it might be the UN and the World Bank together that are providing the guidance to donors about performance metrics in socio-economic relief and development is profoundly disconcerting. I do not know of a single area of performance metrics where they have been world class ... rather they have a basis of measurement that is, more than anything else, self serving.
If they were to embrace Community Analytics (CA) ... that would be an enormous step in the right direction ... but few of the people involved seem to be interested in this level of innovation and paradigm shift, even though it, or something like it, is vital to socio-economic performance and the effective use of scarce resources.