The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) and Publish What You Fund (PWYF) have analyzed the two most prominent U.S. Federal foreign aid reporting data platforms in connection with the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (FATAA). That act called for the State Department and USAID to consolidate data collection and web platforms in order to improve US aid transparency. MFAN today issued a call underscoring the need for the two agencies to commit to a single platform*.

DevTech developed and currently manages one of the two data platforms, the USAID’s Foreign Aid Explorer (FAE, www.explorer.usaid.gov), under the USAID Data Services contract, which manages some of USAID’s most important data systems. The MFAN and PWYF analysis found that overall, USAID’S FAE platform dominates ForeignAssistance.gov, with strengths in nine of the ten criteria, including providing better verified and complete data. The analysis pointed to two strengths (out of a total of ten possible criteria) for FA.gov - timelier appropriations data.

The Foreign Aid Explorer and its corresponding Foreign Aid Database (FADB) serve as the basis for the U.S. Government’s annual reporting of foreign assistance data to Congress (the “Greenbook”), as well as its annual reporting to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It contains all official US foreign assistance data from 1946 to the present.

MFAN and PWYF’s analysis recommends that USAID’s Foreign Aid Explorer (FAE) serve as the basis of a single, unified, solution for US Government foreign assistance reporting. Specifically, MFAN and PWYF call for the establishment of a consolidated data solution that “builds upon [USAID’s Foreign Aid Explorer] existing data and well-established data collection processes” while at the same time “incorporates missing functionalities and identifies incomplete data.”

DevTech’s work with USAID over the past 25+ years demonstrates our commitment to providing the U.S. Government and the public with transparent, accurate, and compelling data on foreign assistance. We are constantly seeking to improve this important service and consolidate data not just across USAID Offices and Bureaus but across USG Agencies and Departments as a whole. MFAN and PWYF’s analysis highlights the need for collaborative work across the USG to identify best practices in data management and implement a consolidated data solution. DevTech stands ready to be part of this solution.

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*The full MFAN-Publish What You Fund analysis can be found here, and a more detailed analysis here.