The NGO ‘Publish What You Fund’ has released its 2012 Aid Transparency Rankings. You can read the full report here [large PDF]. The good news for New Zealand is that our aid programme has not only been assessed as moderately transparent but that the aid programme has improved in this area. Browse how various different countries are doing here, read in detail about NZ here, and have a look at the Guardian’s report and collected dataset here.
NZ’s score was boosted significantly by the fact that the aid programme now publishes aid activity data (here) to something approximating International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standards. Unfortunately, the data are in a somewhat difficult to use format (XML) but when we went through official channels and requested them in Excel they were shared with me in a timely manner.
Making Use of New Zealand Aid Data
NZADDs have turned the NZ Data Excel Pivot Tables. Pivot Tables take about 10 minutes to figure out, and if you’re having problems using them you are welcome to email for assistance. But the beauty of having data in this format is that you can look at top level information, filter for particular countries, and double click on specific cells to see the detail of the aid activities that contribute to different types of aid in different places. Please be aware that 2011 data is only provisional and that the numbers will change somewhat when MFAT update it later this year. Please also note that the activity level data isn’t complete. Some aid activities are missing for some reason. Nevertheless, the fact that this sort of data is being made available represents an improvement in the world of NZ aid transparency. You can download the Pivot Tables here (Excel file – will only work on Excel 2007 or more recent versions).