Together with its CSO members, the Reality of Aid – Asia Pacific (RoA-AP) has officially launched its CSO Aid Observatorio, a CSO-driven database of development projects funded by bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) or funded through International Finance Institutions (IFIs).
The CSO Aid Observatorio’s creation arose out of the censure targeted towards IFIs, including the International Monetary Fund-World Bank (IMF-WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Much of this pressure from civil society and grassroots communities is driven by aid conditionalities and their aggravating effects on the ground, especially in developing countries where dependency on foreign aid is high. Whether knowingly or not, IFIs also tend to finance operations that encourage the private sector’s involvement in development, presenting an entirely new array of issues like vague accountability mechanisms, privatization of resources, and much more.
With this, RoA-AP’s CSO Aid Observatorio aims to be a platform in which funded initiatives are recorded and monitored through stories from the field and evidenced-based data and analyses. The objectives of the Observatorio are as follows:
- Promote awareness and transparency on the management of aid by recipient governments and other providers (i.e. IFIs) in the region,
- Aid in research and analysis on the trends and impacts of development projects and public-private partnerships in the region,
- Assist in the engagement of CSOs with recipient and donor governments and other providers for the effective and efficient use of public funds and for the protection of human rights and democracy,
- Assist in the advocacy campaigns of communities or grassroots and peoples’ organizations for the assertion of their democratic rights and for seeking transparency and accountability from governments and other providers, and
- Facilitate shared learning and discourse among CSOs, policymakers, academia, media, and activists for the promotion of a human rights-based, people-powered sustainable development and forwarding of critical solutions or recommendations.
Assessments in the platform are made in light of Development Effectiveness Principles, Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and the following areas: 1) human rights, 2) democracy, 3) peace and security, and 4) environment or climate.
RoA-AP invites all organizations and researchers interested in monitoring and/or evaluating projects in a particular area/community to answer the CSO Aid Observatorio Reporting Form. To read the guidelines, download the Reporting Toolkit.
The CSO Aid Observatorio is supported by the European Commission through the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE).