The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which was launched in 2008 at the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, aims to increase the availability and accessibility of information about aid. The basic idea behind IATI is that aid money is more likely to be effective (in terms of its positive impact) if people know how that money is being spent. In other words, transparency promotes effectiveness.
Given the clear complementarities between IATI’s vision and Synergy’s on-the-ground work in many countries, Synergy has supported and promoted IATI. Importantly, Synergy participated in all of IATI’s regional consultations, which were intended to survey the needs, expectations, and concerns of partner countries regarding aid information. In particular, Synergy’s international consulting staff attended the regional workshops in Kigali (Rwanda) for the East Africa region, Podgorica (Montenegro) for the Eastern Europe and CIS region, Bangkok (Thailand) for the Asia-Pacific region, Accra (Ghana) for the West & Central Africa region, and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) for the Central & South America region.
At these various consultations, Synergy shared its experience in implementing the Development Assistance Database (DAD), with a particular focus on how DAD is used by countries to overcome important challenges in making information about aid transparent, easily accessible, and useful to decision-makers. Synergy’s experts also discussed the key lessons learned, good practices, and technological innovations that have, over the years, made DAD sustainable.
In mid October 2009, Synergy participated in IATI’s first annual conference, which took place in The Hague, Netherlands. The conference brought together almost 200 participants from developed and developing countries, donor organizations, civil society groups, and private companies. Synergy featured its work at the conference’s Marketplace of Ideas, which was a platform designed to promote dialogue between IT providers and the development community.