Why Transparency Matters Part Six: One Piece Of Advice

(This post was originally published by InterAction)

Moderator: Julie Montgomery, Director of Innovation and Learning, InterAction

“Why Transparency Matters” is a six-part blog series featuring AidData, Development Initiatives, Foundation Center, Open Aid Partnership, Oxfam America, and Publish What You Fund. These organizations are coming together with InterAction to discuss transparency – why it matters, what it means to be transparent, what impact transparency has on aid effectiveness, and more. In this final blog, we asked for advice from our contributors. At InterAction we tell our members to publish what they can and then build on that. Be patient – it takes time to see results, but it is well worth the wait.

Before you read what sage advice our contributors have to share, InterAction would like to thank our partners in this series. It is only in partnership that we can ensure transparency becomes a central part of what we do. If you want to learn more, join us for a Google Hangout with the contributors on October 6.


Samantha Custer (AidData): If you want transparency to improve results and accountability, you need to ask early and often what the prospective users of your data want and be responsive to their needs.

Joni Hillman (Development Initiatives): Data users, both inside and outside of your organization, will be the key to ensuring that your transparency efforts are recognized and your data stays high quality. Asking them questions – like what they need your data for, how often, and in what format – will help you to help them, ensuring you get the most return on your investment. 

Janet Camarena (The Foundation Center): The most important thing for grantmakers to know is that even though there are specific steps they can take to improve transparency practices, the journey will be different for each foundation and it is not an activity that has a specific endpoint, but rather it is part of an ongoing and evolutionary process.

Elizabeth Dodds (Open Aid Partnership): Before anything else, investigate the demand for and capacity to use the information that will be released, in order to clarify the purpose of your efforts, target the right user groups with the information they need and better understand how to achieve sustainable results.

David Saldivar (Oxfam America): Learn by doing – start with what you can do based on your current systems and processes, and build from there.

Catalina Reyes (Publish What You Fund): The road to aid transparency should be paved with more than good intentions. Donors must accelerate progress to meet their 2015 aid transparency commitments.

Want to learn more?

Join the discussion by following #TransparencyMatters on Twitter and tune in for a live discussion on October 6th from 12:00-1:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time, to learn more and chat with the authors.

Tags: transparencyinteractionopengovernmentdataoxfam americadevelopment initiativesPublish What You FundOpen Aid PartnershipAidData