U.S. moves to make foreign aid more transparent

09:34, December 17, 2010      

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The U.S. State Department moved on Thursday to make foreign assistance more transparent one day after its revamped foreign policy approach focuses more on development.

The department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the launch of the Foreign Assistance Dashboard (www.foreignassistance.gov), saying this website provides a visual presentation of and access to key foreign assistance budget and appropriation data for them.

"The Foreign Assistance Dashboard was created in response to the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and President Obama's Open Government Initiative," the department said in a statement. "The recently issued Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) highlights the importance of embracing transparency and holding ourselves accountable for achieving results."

The QDDR released on Wednesday calls for "leading through civilian power," stressing that "development stands alongside diplomacy as the twin pillars of America's civilian power." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on the occasion that "we will make our aid more transparent by, among other steps, creating a new web-based dashboard that will publish data on State ( Department) and USAID foreign assistance."

"The goal of the Foreign Assistance Dashboard is to give a wide variety of stakeholders, including U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. government agencies, donors and partner country governments the ability to examine, research and track U.S. government foreign assistance investments in an accessible and easy-to-understand format," the statement said. " The Foreign Assistance Dashboard enables the United States to take a huge step forward in becoming a leader in aid transparency."

The dashboard currently includes State Department and USAID foreign assistance request and appropriations data, while future versions of the site plan to incorporate budget, financial, program and performance data in a standard form from all U.S. government agencies receiving or implementing foreign assistance.

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