USAID is committed to the President's Open Government initiative [PDF], upholding the values of transparency, participation, and collaboration in tangible ways that benefit the American people.
The Foreign Assistance Dashboard
Members of the public can search and visualize expanded, timely information about what, where, how and with whom we spend our development dollars. This financial data, consisting of over 50,000 records, is available on the Foreign Assistance Dashboard (FAD) which is managed by the Department of State and is the repository for all U.S. Government data on foreign aid. Publication of this data is part of USAID's commitment to increasing our transparency and accountability and is required by the OMB Bulletin 12-01 [PDF].
The first release of USAID data on the FAD in December 2010 consisted of consolidated Department of State and USAID budget and appropriation data from fiscal years 2006-2011, as available in the Congressional Budget Justification. In June 2012, USAID began publishing obligation and disbursement data by operating unit and sector starting from fiscal year 2009. In July 2013, USAID was the first U.S. Government agency to publish detailed, disaggregated data and information at the individual transaction level to the FAD as required by the OMB Bulletin 12-01 [PDF], published in September 2012.
International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)
In November 2011, the United States became a signatory to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). IATI is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that includes donors, partner countries, and civil society organizations whose aim is to make information about foreign aid spending easier to access, use, and understand. Late in 2012, the U.S. Government published its IATI implementation schedule and first IATI-compliant data files, which included a timetable and frequency of data publication and an overview of the types of data to be published. USAID’s IATI data is accessible on the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, which is the repository for all USG IATI data.
Making data available in an easily readable format is part of the U.S. Government's commitment to transparency in the President's May 9, 2013 Executive Order and under IATI guidelines. USAID plays a leading role in ensuring that the U.S. Government meets its commitments under IATI to publish up-to-date information in a common, open format that makes it easy for stakeholders to find, use and compare with other donors' information about foreign aid spending.
Other Financial Reporting
Each year, USAID handles two major reports on all U.S. Government foreign assistance. The first is U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants, Obligations and Loan Authorizations, commonly known as the Greenbook . In recent years, the online version has provided a complete historical record of all foreign assistance provided by the United States to the rest of the world. USAID also reports Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on behalf of the U.S. Government.
Program evaluation findings are shared as widely as possible, with a commitment to full and active disclosure, per the USAID Evaluation Policy. Final USAID evaluation reports are available to the public at the Development Experience Clearinghouse, USAID’s online document archive available at http://dec.usaid.gov. (See also the Progress and Data page of USAID’s website for additional performance and results reporting).
The Agency’s innovation in transparency also includes their expanded use of geocoding across Bureaus and Missions worldwide. USAID’s website currently includes first generation geocoded maps of projects in 40 countries. In addition,, in June 2012, the Agency launched its first-ever crowdsourcing initiative to pinpoint the location of USAID Development Credit Authority (DCA) loan data. Geo-visualization of these loans allows donors, host governments, and the public to see where USAID helps enhance the capacity of the private financial sector by making loans to entrepreneurs, acting as a gauge for trends or signaling areas for cooperation.
Open Data Challenge
The Food Security Open Data Challenge, which was launched by USAID to bring together food security stakeholders, data technologists, and other development enthusiasts to build innovative solutions for food security is another example of USAID’s innovation in transparency. The purpose of the Challenge is to develop new applications that use and build robust data relevant to food security, to build a list of parameters of open data and food security data standards that would be useful in informing a G8 effort on global data standards for food security, and to demonstrate internally and externally the benefits of engaging data technologists, social innovators and entrepreneurs in U.S. development work.
Country Development Cooperation Strategies (CDCS)
Transparency is also reflected in the development of the Country Development Cooperation Strategies (CDCS). Within two months of a CDCS approval, the Mission prepares a public version that is posted on the Agency’s web site. Each CDCS is provided to Congress and made widely available to host country partners. The public version provides the basis for dialogue with host country partners and other stakeholders in the private sector as the Mission moves forward in project design.
In keeping with President Obama’s commitment to the relationship between transparency and good governance abroad as well as at home, USAID’s foreign assistance programs help countries to be more open and accountable to their stakeholders.
Last updated: December 12, 2013