Bangladesh has made a giant stride towards greater transparency of its foreign aid this week by launching its homegrown online aid portal called Bangladesh Aid Information Management System or Bangladesh AIMS - a web based software application that will help the country to track and manage its aid flows.
Bangladesh AIMS will now serve as a single entry window for all foreign aid related information in Bangladesh which means that anyone will able to access all foreign aid related information in Bangladesh by clicking this link- aims.erd.gov.bd
Once heavily aid dependent, Bangladesh has been successful in reducing its dependency on overseas development assistance over the last two decades thanks to a growing economy driven by a booming private sector. Foreign aid actually constitutes only around 1.8 percent of the country's GDP right now.Poverty has also been reduced substantially from 40 percent to 31 percent in the last five years. The country is clearly successful in riding the train of Emerging Asia.
However, around 32 percent of the country's development budget is still financed by overseas development assistance. Specially, some specific sectors are like primary education are still mostly ODA financed. Moreover, in absolute terms the net ODA received by Bangladesh has shown a rising trend over the last couple of years (The country has received on average US$ 1.85 billion of overseas aid per annum over the last 10 years) .
At the same time, Bangladesh has been quite active in the Aid Effectiveness Movement since it peaked up steam at the beginning of this millennium. It was especially vocal about the aid transparency issues and currently it is the Vice Chair of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). Hence, better management, coordination as well as utilization of foreign aid is receiving utmost attention from various corners including government, development agencies and civil society organizations. Development of a homegrown internationally compliant aid information portal was a significant step towards that end.
Any development partner agencies working in Bangladesh and willing to share their aid data on AIMS will have to register into the system. So far, 18 development partner agencies including World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, DFID, JICA and EU have registered and many of them have gradually started started sharing their data. This system captures project‐level information on commitments, disbursements and expenditures by donor, implementer, sector and geographic location.
Here is a report on Devex about the Bangladesh initiative-
Please let us know what do you think about the Bangladesh initiative. Will it ensure more effective development partnership in the context of a burgening economy?