IFTI Watch

  • 12 December 2011

    World Bank Posts Digest of Sanctions Board Decisions

    The World Bank Dec. 9 announced the creation of a Sanctions Board Law Digest, “publicly detailing for the first time the rationale behind how the Bank Group holds entities accountable for fraud, corruption, and other wrongdoing.” The independent Sanctions Board makes final decisions in contested sanctions cases. The Sanctions Board also will start releasing its […]

  • 2 December 2011

    Aid Transparency Endorsed at Conference in Busan, Korea

    Officials from some 160 countries meeting in Busan, South Korea, agreed Dec. 1 that development aid should be spent more efficiently and more transparently. Delegates adopted a 12-page non-binding declaration that will “establish a new, inclusive and representative Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation to support and ensure accountability for the implementation of commitments at the […]

  • 17 November 2011

    Publish What You Fund Rates 58 Donors on Transparency

     Publish What You Fund has launched the 2011 pilot Aid Transparency Index ranking 58 donors on their levels of aid transparency and finding them wanted. The index uses 37 indicators of aid transparency to rate donors at the organisation, country and activity level.   “The report finds that the majority of aid donors are not publishing […]

  • 11 November 2011

    UN Anti-Corruption Body Resists Transparency

    The UN Convention Against Corruption has decided not to let civil society groups observe the meetings of a key body.. At a recent five-day meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, the issue of transparency was much debated, but  the result “was not a good conclusion,” Gillian Dell of Transparency International said in an interview with FreedomInfo.org. Russia led an effort […]

  • 25 October 2011

    ADB Revises Communications Policy, Makes Changes

    The Asian Development Oct. 25 announced a new Communications Policy, revising its rules on disclosure and adding an appeals body. According to the Bank, the key changes include: earlier disclosure of core ADB documents, such as final proposals for country partnership strategies and sovereign project loans, subject to country consent. translation of summary project information into […]

  • 14 October 2011

    World Bank Proposal Said to Undercut Access Policy

    A World Bank proposal to revamp a substantial portion of its lending program would circumvent existing transparency requirements, among other things, according to critics. The disclosure implications of the so-called Program for Results (P4R) are negative, according to civil society group comment letters. The proposed policy “leaves the public uninformed about how funds are being […]

  • 4 October 2011

    UN Transparency Urged at Info Commissioners Meeting

    The United Nations “doesn’t know what freedom of information means,” said opening speaker Stephen Lewis at the 7th International Conference of Information Commissioners Oct. 4 in Ottawa, Canada. “Everything is shrouded in secrecy,” Lewis said, saying, “You can’t get the most fundamental information” about what is happening within the UN which “doesn’t know what freedom […]

  • 30 September 2011

    Groups Urge ASEAN to Adopt Transparency Policy

    A number of groups have urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to “demonstrate its commitment to public participation by promoting access to information within ASEAN and among its member states.” The Sept. 29 call was made by Article 19, the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), Media Defence-Southeast Asia and SAPA Task Force on […]

  • 9 September 2011

    Public Interest Appeals to World Bank Unsuccessful

    Appeals to the World Bank to release information “in the public interest” that otherwise is deemed confidential under Bank policies have been unsuccessful so far, according to Bank reports. However, in a recent appeal case, the Bank’s Access to Information Committee decided to use its own prerogative to release otherwise exempt materials. The decision came […]

  • 9 August 2011

    GTI Submits Comments to African Development Bank

    The Global Transparency Initiative Aug. 9 provided comments to the African Development Bank on its proposed new policy on access to information. GTI welcomed the commitment by the Bank to move to a proper presumption of disclosure and to establish both internal and external appeals mechanisms to review refusals to provide access. At the same […]

  • 5 August 2011

    EBRD Issues New Public Information Policy

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has posted its new Public Information Policy. The site also includes Report on Public Consultations, which is a 16-page table of public comments and EBRD responses. The policy is to be effective Nov. 1. The Russian version of the Public Information Policy will be available on the EBRD website […]

  • 2 August 2011

    IFC Issues New Policies, Including on Disclosure

    The World Bank’s private sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, has issued a new disclosure policy. The policy, approved May 12 and effective Jan. 1, 2012, is part of a larger package known as the “Sustainability Framework.” The Sustainability Framework revises IFC policies on many topics – including environmental and social polices  – and […]

  • 29 July 2011

    Groups Urge World Bank to Reinvigorate B-SPAN

    Several organizations have written to World Bank President Robert Zoellick urging him to expand funding for B-SPAN, the Bank’s internet-based webcasting system. The issue was highlighted in an article by David Wheeler of the Center for Global Development, a Washington think-tank on development issues, and mentioned in a July 2 New York Times article. Begun […]

  • 22 July 2011

    GTI Challenges ADB to Improve Disclosure Plan

    The Global Transparency Initiative is urging the Asian Development Bank to improve its draft Public Communications Policy (PCP), saying it “now has a chance to jump ahead of the World Bank.” Addressing issues raised by GTI “would place the ADB at the forefront of IFIs in terms of adhering to the international standards regarding the […]

  • 22 July 2011

    World Bank Posts Data on Finances, Urges Exploration

    The World Bank has posted data online on its own finances. “The goal of this website is to make data related to the Bank’s financials available to everybody in a social, interactive, visually compelling, and machine readable format,” according to the website. The data covers “portions of the Bank’s investments, assets it manages on behalf […]

  • 24 June 2011

    Detailed Reports Finds Weakneses in AfDB Policy

    Obtaining information from the African Development Bank can be frustrating, according to researchers who visited the Bank’s website and went to Bank local offices. Their experiences informed a detailed study, the results of which have just been released. It was conducted for the Global Transparency Initiative by Idasa, an Africa democracy institute based in South Africa. […]

  • 10 June 2011

    Aid Transparency Group Launches Petition Drive

    A coalition of over 50 civil society groups from 20 countries June 8 launched a campaign Make Aid Transparent, which calls on governments and other aid donors to publish more and better information about the money they give. The effort includes a petition drive and an explanatory animation.  “Providing more and better information about aid […]

  • 10 June 2011

    EBRD Disclosure Proposal Criticized as Insufficient

    The revised Public Information Policy of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development  “is excessively referential to confidentiality, to the detriment to its openness principles,” according to comments made recently by the CEE Bankwatch Network and Article 19 on behalf of the Global Transparency Initiative. The revised EBRD PIP adopts few of the proposals submitted […]

  • 27 May 2011

    AfDB Posts Draft Access Rules on Website

    Without fanfare, the African Development Bank May 25 posted on its website a proposal to redo its access to information rules. The draft will be the subject of consultations with civil society on June 10 in Portugal at the AfDB annual meting, according to information from Bank officials. However, the AfDB has not yet described a […]

  • 4 May 2011

    AfDB Agrees to Consult on New Disclosure Policy

    The African Development Bank Board of Directors has decided to seek public input on a proposal to revise its 2005 disclosure policy, according sources close to the process and a May 2 letter from AfDB President Donald Kaberuka to the Global Transparency Initiative.   The decision to hold consultations came at an informal meeting of the AfDB board […]


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