IFTI Watch

  • 27 August 2010

    Development Aid Mapped With Geo-Referenced Data

    Researchers recently unveiled some of the first efforts to map development projects, a technique aimed at improving coordination of effort. Using new “geo-referenced aid data,” the projects by AidData plotted the spatial and sectoral coordination of active projects by the World Bank and the African Development Bank in Kenya and Mozambique. Another project concerned Uganda. […]

  • 13 August 2010

    EU Health Agency Agrees to Release Documents

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) Aug. 10 announced that it will release documents related to a drug used to treat severe forms of acne, following the guidance of the European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros. An Irish citizen sought reports concerning suspected adverse reactions to the drug, but EMA initially refused access, arguing that EU transparency […]

  • 13 August 2010

    Transparency in Development Goals Advocated

    Seven pro-transparency groups Aug. 10 urged governments to include specific commitments to the free flow of information as they review the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) this September. The letter to top United Nations officials was sent by ARTICLE 19, Access Info, the Carter Center, CIVICUS, the International Budget Partnership, Publish What You Fund and Transparency […]

  • 5 August 2010

    World Bank Releases Lebanon Strategy Document, A First

    By Toby McIntosh The World Bank Aug. 4 issued the first documents under its new “simultaneous disclosure” policy, including a proposed Country Partnership Strategy for Lebanon. Under the new disclosure policy, the public gets a look at certain key proposals at the same time they are sent to the Exective Board. However, it took a […]

  • 30 July 2010

    GTI Urges AfDB to Consult on Disclosure Policy

    The Global Transparency Initiative and leaders of several African groups have urged African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka to conduct public consultations as it reviews its disclosure policy. The Bank has indicated recently that it intends to revamp the Bank’s 2005 disclosure policy, a commitment praised in the July 30 letter to Kaberuka. Less clear is how the […]

  • 29 July 2010

    China Agrees to Release IMF Article IV Report

    China has permitted disclosure of the so-called Article IV “staff report” prepared by the International Monetary Fund. Last year, China declined to allow release  of the 2009 staff report,  This was a change, because China had permitted release of the 2006 report. Article IV reviews are usually conducted every year and the comprehensive staff reports summarize the economic conditions […]

  • 22 July 2010

    IATI Effort Continuing, CSOs Encourage Action

    Government representatives meeting recently in Paris agreed to proceed with plans to bring more transparency to development aid flows. The decisions July 7 came despite some concerns among activists that governments were slackening in their attention to the International Aid Transparency Initiative. It was agreed, however, that nothing would be taken out of the proposed IATI phase […]

  • 16 July 2010

    IFC Rewrite of Disclosure Policy Criticized

    The International Finance Corporation’s proposed changes to its disclosure policy are inadequate, according to environmental and development policy groups. Their critiques were voiced recently during a consultation meeting with staff members at the IFC, the World Bank’s private sector lending branch, and are being repeated during other IFC-sponsored consultations now underway. The IFC is simultaneously […]

  • 2 July 2010

    World Bank Inaugurates New Disclosure Policy

    By Toby McIntosh The World Bank July 1 began applying its new disclosure policy, with enhanced web pages and the announcement of the three members on its appeals body. One of the major reforms in the new policy is  the “simultaneous disclosure” to the public of staff recommendations on projects and policies as they are […]

  • 1 July 2010

    AFDB Planning Disclosure Policy Review

    The African Development Bank has included revision of its disclosure policy among the promised reforms as it seeks a large budgetary increase.

  • 21 June 2010

    ADB Draft Transparency Policy Criticized

    “Zero draft” is the informal phrase being used by Asian Development Bank officials to describe their opening proposal for a new Public Communications Policy. ADB officials hope to convey that the draft proposal is a starting point — a work in progress. But critics see the first draft as “a big zero.”

  • 4 June 2010

    ADB Proposes Revisions to Public Communications Policy

    The Asian Development Bank June 4 issued proposed changes in its Public Communications Policy. Release of the  “consultation draft” comes as the ADB commences a series of worldwide meetings. The first session will be June 15 in Canada, and the last is scheduled for August 2 in the Philippines. The ADB’s 12-country consultation schedule is posted online.

  • 28 May 2010

    IFC Draft Disclosure Policy: Minuses and Pluses

    The World Bank’s private sector lending arm has proposed a new disclosure policy that offers a few advances, but generally falls short of the standard set late last year by its parent organization. Among other things, the International Finance Corporation has not followed suit on the disclosure of staff recommendations in advance of board meetings.
    Nor does…

  • 13 May 2010

    IDB Approves New Disclosure Policy

    The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) May 12 approved a new “Access to Information Policy” likely to increase the level of transparency at the institution. The changes largely track reforms recently adopted by the World Bank. The IDB set an international speed record for writing and approving the new disclosure policy, rushing it through as part […]

  • 4 May 2010

    IDB Speeds Toward Adoption of New Disclosure Policy

    The Inter-American Development Bank has released a proposed disclosure policy and is on a fast track to approve it in mid-May. The unexpected speed, shortchanging plans for a public consultation period, was motivated by a desire to bolster its case for a capital increase. The Board of Governors in March set a number of conditions on […]

  • 23 April 2010

    World Bank Expands Access to Statistical Data

    The World Bank April 20 announced increased access to its statistical databases and challenged the global community “to use the data to create new applications and solutions to help poor people in the developing world,” according to its press release. The Bank Group said it is providing “free, open, and easy access to its comprehensive […]

  • 1 April 2010

    IDB Governors Raise Bar for New Transparency Policy

    The Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank on March 21 made several commitments to improve transparency at the IDB. The Board’s statements go slightly beyond those contained in a recently proposed outline of potential changes to the disclosure policy. Just before the Board meeting in Cancun, Mexico, the IDB released a “Policy Profile” that …

  • 1 April 2010

    Groups Seek Transparency for Aid to Haiti

    As a major conference on aid to Haiti began in New York March 31, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations made a series of pro-transparency recommendations. The recommendations “highlight the need to change the way donor states provide aid, by empowering the Haitian people; strengthening the Haitian government’s capacity to guarantee human rights; and making assistance […]

  • 19 March 2010

    IDB Launches Review of Disclosure Policy

    The Inter-American Development Bank March 16 quietly announced a “comprehensive review” of its information disclosure policy. The Bank invited public comments on a 15-page “policy profile” that outlines a proposed new policy…

  • 16 March 2010

    New IMF Disclosure Policy Goes Into Effect

    The International Monetary Fund’s slightly revised disclosure policy enters into effect March 17, with the hope that a few more governments will allow the public release of key Bank documents about their countries, but still with a proviso giving governments veto power. Although the new policy is not expected to allow significantly greater access to […]


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