International think tank fellow lauds FAiTH, the foreign aid transparency website

By on May 18, 2014


A senior fellow of the Center for Global Development (CGD), a Washington-based non-profit think tank, recently commended the Philippines’ online Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, or FAiTH. Writing for the CGD blog, Vijaya Ramachandran said it sets “an excellent standard for aid transparency by holding both donors and the Philippine government accountable.”

The FAiTH website, the Philippine government’s initiative to put transparency at the heart of international relief efforts, was launched six months ago, following the onslaught of Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda).

For Ramachandran, Haiyan proved to be fertile ground to make transparency a hallmark of international relief and humanitarian efforts. “[T]he next step—one that should begin with the crisis in the Philippines—is for all humanitarian organizations and aid agencies to publish details of their planned and actual spending and activities, in real time.”

FAiTH did just that when Version 2.0 of the portal was rolled out on April 30. The newly revamped site now allows 64 governments and seven international organizations to access the portal’s content management system, and update their cash and non-cash pledges. Along with other enhancements, this new feature ensures that FAiTH releases accurate and verified information on international aid and assistance to the public.

Ramachandran said that FAiTH reflects the kind of transparency that she has envisioned since the 2010 Haiti earthquake. “In the immediate aftermath of Haiyan, Owen Barder [Director of CGD Europe] and I argued on CGD’s blog and in the Washington Post that donors must avoid the lack of transparency that has characterized earthquake relief efforts in Haiti,” she said.

[Read Ramachandran’s whole article: “Kudos to the Philippine Government for Its Foreign Aid Transparency Hub”]

As of May 14, total foreign aid pledges to Haiyan survivors have reached P34 billion or $763 million—of which P11 billion ($248 million) are cash donations, and P23 billion ($515 million) are non-cash donations. Out of these pledges, the government has so far received P15 billion or $336 million for the recovery and rehabilitation efforts post-Haiyan.

FAiTH is managed by an inter-agency task force composed of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Department of Finance (DOF), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of National Defense–Office of Civil Defense (DND OCD), the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO).

Originally posted on The Official Gazette (www.gov.ph), May 14, 2014