IFTI Watch

  • 24 December 2010

    IFC Issues Redrafted Disclosure Policy Proposal

    The World Bank’s private sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, has issued a new proposal on access to information that continues to be more restrictive than the World Bank’s own new policy. During “Phase III” of its consultations, the IFC is organizing general and thematic consultations in different parts of the world. Phase III […]

  • 23 December 2010

    EBRD Beginning Review of Public Information Policy

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced plans to review its Public Information Policy (PIP). The Bank indicated that it is requesting comments on its existing policy by the end of January and later will conduct a series of stakeholder consultations. After receiving comments, due Jan. 28, 2011, the EBRD said it […]

  • 22 December 2010

    World Bank Issues Report on First Months of New Policy

    The World Bank’s first report on its new Access to Information policy recounts a major internal education effort, reviews the levels of requests, and reveals some of the first interpretations of the policy since it went into effect July 1. The early interpretations indicate a willingness to consider redacting material so as to protect certain […]

  • 13 December 2010

    BankWatch Research Exposes Gaps in EIB Disclosure Policy

    A report showing that some European economic stimulus funds were slow reaching their intended recipients also exposes flaws in the disclosure policy of the European Investment Bank. The report by the CEE BankWatch Network concerns “global loans” — which are made by the EIB to intermediary commercial banks at preferential rates to help them make […]

  • 9 December 2010

    Data Lacking for Broad Aid Transparency Study

    A lack of data inhibited an effort to compare what information is publicly available on development aid from international institutions and donor nations, according to a new study by Publish What You Fund. Without enough  primary, comparable data, putting together the report on 30 institutions was “challenging” according to the first of three findings in […]

  • 2 December 2010

    ADB Issues Second Draft of Proposed Disclosure Policy

    By Toby McIntosh The Asian Development Bank Nov. 26 proposed to release more documents prior to Executive Board meetings than previously proposed and to create an appeals body for disclosure requestors. The ADB’s second draft revision of its public communications policy would somewhat expand the “simultaneous disclosure” policy, under which certain  documents are made public […]

  • 18 November 2010

    Campaign Begins to Urge Greater Access by ASEAN

    ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, should be more open, according to groups starting up a campaign promoting  a freedom of information policy for the 10-nation alliance.  “… [I]t is high time that the ASEAN made good its rhetoric of people orientation, and start the process of developing and adopting a Freedom of or Access to Information Policy […]

  • 5 November 2010

    WB Pledged to Disclose Extinct Meeting Summaries

    By Toby McIntosh In the spring of 2009, in the midst of consultations about a new disclosure policy for the World Bank, pro-transparency advocates urged the Bank to disclose the “Summaries of Discussion” prepared for many years about the meetings of the Bank’s Executive Board. The summaries,  for internal use only, described what was said […]

  • 29 October 2010

    Study Assesses Transparency by Major Aid Donors

    The Publish What You Fund has assessed the transparency of 30 major aid donors. The Fund evaluated the donors in three categories: high level commitment to transparency; transparency to recipient governments; and transparency to civil society. Eight data sources were used to flesh out seven weighted indicators. The study evaluated countries and international financial institutions. […]

  • 22 October 2010

    Information on Budgets Still Weak, IBP Survey Finds

    Information on government budgets is improving, but in many countries is so minimal that governments can hide unpopular, wasteful and corrupt spending, according to the third annual Open Budget Survey 2010 by the International Budget Partnership (IBP). The survey found significant deficiencies in 40 of the 94 countries evaluated. “The Survey data reveal a strong […]

  • 22 October 2010

    Academics Top Requesters Under New Bank Policy

    The World Bank received 160 information requests in the first three months of its new Access to Information policy, according to a recent presentation by a Bank official. Between July 1 (the effective date of the policy) and Sept.30th, the World Bank had received 160 information requests; 100 of which were granted, 10 were denied […]

  • 15 October 2010

    World Bank Releases Few Summaries of Meetings

    By Toby McIntosh The “summaries” of World Bank Executive Board meetings now being disclosed under the Bank’s new Access to Information policy are substantially shorter and less comprehensive than the summaries prepared before the Bank agreed to release them, according to a Freedominfo.org review. In addition, the Bank has not disclosed summaries for all the Board meetings […]

  • 15 October 2010

    IFTI Watch Notes: Sachs Urges Contract Disclosure

    Sachs on Transparency:  Columbia University economics professor Jeffrey Sachs, speaking in Washington recently, stressed the importance of transparency to help resource-rich countries harness the benefits of such wealth, according to an article in the Huffington Post by Chad Dobson, director of the Bank Information Center and staffer Rebecca Harris. Sachs stressed the importance of releasing […]

  • 9 October 2010

    World Bank Offers Prizes for Apps Using Bank Data

    The World Bank has offered prizes for the developers of software applications using World Bank data. The software applications must raise awareness of one or more of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or contribute toward meeting them. Submissions may be any kind of software application, be it for the web, a personal computer, a mobile […]

  • 29 September 2010

    BIC Leader Suggests More Uniform IFI Disclosure Policies

    International financial institutions should align their disclosure policies, according to the director of a leading advocacy group favoring more liberal IFI disclosure policies. Chad Dobson, the executive director of the Bank Information Center in Washington, made his suggestion Sept. 28 at a forum sponsored by the Collaboration on Government Secrecy, affiliated with the American University […]

  • 29 September 2010

    Coalition Urges Governance Reforms at IMF

    A coalition of groups Sept. 28 urged the International Monetary Fund to make governance reforms, including better disclosure policies.  New Rules for Global Finance, Oxfam International, the Center for Global Development, other civil society organizations and some academics wrote the IMF Board of Governors saying “progress has been slow on improving critical aspects of IMF governance in […]

  • 28 September 2010

    BIC Issues Guide to World Bank Information

    The Bank Information Center, a Washington-based nongovernmental organization, has issued a “toolkit” to finding information at the World Bank. The document, “Unlocking the World Bank’s Access to Information Policy,” was written by former Bank information expert Veronique Danforth, and has a secondary headline, “Your Key to the Vault.” The guide not only describes the Bank’s […]

  • 23 September 2010

    Article 19 Says Transparency Slighted in MDG Conclusions

    The international summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) failed to adequately recognize the value of greater transparency, according to civil society observers.  “Global civil society told world leaders that for the MDGs to succeed, two things were essential: assistance and accountability at all levels,” said Agnes Callamard, executive director of the London-based freedom of […]

  • 9 September 2010

    London Declaration Urges More Transparency

    Calls for more transparency as an integral part of the effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are continuing, but the message may not be getting through.                                Participants in a London conference Sept 6 issued the  “London Declaration for Transparency: the Free Flow of Information and Development.” The document resulted from a conference organized […]

  • 3 September 2010

    Lebanese CSOs React to Disclosure of Strategy

    It’s still early days for the World Bank’s new policy of disclosing certain documents in advance of Executive Board meetings, so lessons about it are just trickling in. The policy gives interested parties a last chance to comment on upcoming decisions, but the window of opportunity is small, as some Lebanese civil society organizations learned […]


In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
Contact: freeinfo@gwu.edu or
1-(703) 276-7748