Quick question – How much did the government receive in AID from the USA in 2013? I bet you don’t know (if you do, tell us where you got the information from in the comments).
The quest for accountability from the government has been a long one. The emergence of democracy in the early 90s has not completely brought the accountability and transparency that a lot of Ghanaians expect from their government. Case in point – the Right to Information (RTI) Bill has not yet been passed. Some members of civil society (the RTI-Coalition especially) insist that the proposed bill is so flawed that it might as well not be passed.
Access to information, the first step to transparency, has been improved through the Ghana Open Data Initiative and its information portal (data.gov.gh) and the Ghana Statistical Service’s website (statsghana.gov.gh). InformGhana is an example of how civil society is taking steps to improve the flow of information to the general public.
The campaign for transparency just received a boost from the US government in the form of the Foreign Assistance Dashboard (foreignassistance.gov). The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which is promoting the use of the platform, was launched in Ghana (surprising, right?) in 2008 to provide information on “how much money is being provided [by donors]”, “when it was, or is, due to be paid out”, and “what the funds are expected to achieve.”
The portal may first and foremost be meant for the US taxpayer but the information provided is very useful for Ghana and other aid receiving countries. From the portal I got information about the total disbursements made to Ghana, how much was allotted to USAID, the Peace Corps and other US government agencies. I even got the accounting records of these agencies with regards to sector by sector disbursements all the way back to the 2007 fiscal year.
InformGhana will be making use of the data from this platform to provide you with articles, infographics and charts.
The answer to the question we asked at the beginning is US$128.1M. That’s the total aid disbursement made to Ghana by the US government in 2013. Our source? ForeignAssistance.gov.