Thursday, June 6, 2013

Transparency key to development

Transparency and accountability will help strengthen democracy and boost the performance of development activities coupled with better utilisation of internal and external resources, according to senior economic adviser to the finance ministry Dr Chiranjivi Nepal.
Addressing a launching ceremony of Open Nepal Initiative, which is a collective effort of various organisations including Freedom Forum, NGO Federation, Young Innovations and aidinfo programme at Development Initiative, in collaboration with the World Bank Institute, here today, he also said that aid transparency is not yet sufficient in Nepal.
"Along with the government, international non-governmental organisations should also be transparent and accountable to the public," said Nepal, adding that openness is the only tool that can increase the wealth and uplift the status of countries, people, and lifestyle of the poor.
Some 26 per cent of the foreign aid is off budget, which has to be brought to the red book for effective resource mobilisation, he said, urging development partners and international non-governmental organisations to open up.
The Open Nepal platform has been launched to make all people aware where the money — internal and external — that has to be spent on them for their betterment has gone.
It is not only the recipient country's population that needs to know where the money has been spent but people from the donor countries also need to know where the taxes being paid by them has been spent and has it been utilised or misutilised, said chairman of Freedom Forum Taranath Dahal, on the occasion.
"The initiative for open Nepal and open data was taken with the motto that every citizen should be provided data and information in an understandable form and format," he said, adding that the availability of information and data has not been adequate to ensure people's access to information.
"Usable and consumable data is the need of the hour to transform society through good governance which is the result of transparency and accountability where open data is fundamental," he emphasised.
The Open Nepal Week, which began on Monday, has brought together various national and international experts on data and information, development, information technology, journalists and civil society representatives for building an 'Open Nepal' with open data.

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