Dina Abdel-Fattah, Aid Management Fellow
AidData is proud to announce that late last week, Nepal’s Ministry of Finance, made its development assistance information publicly available with an online Aid Management Platform (AMP) now available at http://portal.mof.gov.np/.
Under Secretary of Finance Bhuban Karki, explains the significance of the move saying that it demonstrates “the commitment of the Government of Nepal to aid transparency, and…shows how aid is being used [to] ensure public accountability.” Nepal Finance Secretary Mr. Shanta Raj Subedi formally introduced the new website at a well-attended government event on Friday, June 21.
In making the Aid Management Platform public, the Government of Nepal is better positioned to “effectively coordinate and manage aid”, according to Tilak Bhandari, Senior Project Officer of the Ministry of Finance and UNDP’s Aid Management and Coordination Project. The AMP database contains reports, visualization dashboards, and an advanced mapping module enabling development stakeholders to track development financing at a level of precision previously unavailable. More than 40 development partners have reported nearly 700 projects into the AMP to date, representing over $US 6 billion in aid disbursements. While Nepal’s development finance data has been captured within the AMP since 2010 (with support from UNDP, DfID, and Denmark), this information was limited to a small group of development partners and the Government. In making this information publicly accessible, government officials anticipate that media, civil society, academia, and concerned citizens will use the data to further development efforts in Nepal.
Nepal’s newly launched Portal enables the public to visualize where development finance is going, analyze gaps in service and identify duplication of efforts with interactive maps. Funded by USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) and AusAID, AidData has geocoded (identified geographic coordinates) development activities in Nepal. This geocoded information will be included in future updates to the Nepal AMP in the coming weeks.
AidData and its partners also continue to provide training to local government, donor and civil society actors on how to maintain and effectively use GIS data. Currently, four AidData summer fellows are working with Transparency International Nepal, Kathmandu University, and the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED) to develop new applications leveraging geocoded datasets to meet local challenges.
AidData commends the Government of Nepal’s active commitment to aid transparency. We look forward to seeing how the Government, donors, citizens, and players in Nepal’s dynamic open data movement will use this data to improve the effectiveness of its development efforts.