Background

The Aid Transparency Portal (ATP) is an Official Development Assistance (ODA) database and has been initiated under the Development Partnership Management Unit (DPMU), Ministry of Finance of the Government of Timor-Leste. Funding and support has been provided by the Government of Japan, Australia and the Asian Development Bank; with implementation by Development Gateway International. The objective of the ATP project is to strengthen the capacity of DPMU to manage, track and report on aid flows through the implementation of a Web-based Aid Information Management System (AIMS). The ATP tracks donor commitments and disbursements to Timor-Leste on a quarterly basis. Additionally, the system links activities to OECD/DAC sectors, Geographic areas, and implementing, executing and beneficiary agencies.

The ATP system is based on the Aid Management Platform (developed by Development Gateway) and has been customized to meet the needs of the Ministry of Finance, Timor-Leste and its Development Partners. A series of trainings has been provided to ATP users (Development Partners were trained during late 2011 and January/ February 2012) to ensure a full understanding of the data requirements and the long term sustainability of the system.

ODA Data is continually updated in the system and a validation process is in place, with the provision of the data as the responsibility of the Development Partners. The first use of data from this system for planning purposes took place in April 2012.

Goals

The goal of the Aid Transparency Portal is to support the implementation of the Timor-Leste Strategic Development Plan, while reducing administrative costs and time. This will facilitate more informed decision-making and improve the efficiency, effectiveness and coordination with and amongst Government agencies and Development Partners. Additionally, achievement of these goals will help to develop capacity and support to ensure that aid is being properly recorded, allocated and utilized to benefit the citizens of Timor-Leste.

This AIMS:

  • Supports DPMU management of Official Development Assistance
  • Increases transparency and accountability by introducing broad access to a data repository on ODA-funded projects/programs
  • Better aligns ODA through improved mapping of aid resources against the Strategic Development Plan
  • Provides a better understanding of the division of labour through sectoral / donor based aid mapping
  • Increases development partner confidence in Government systems through an improved data recording and reporting system
  • Enhances Government-led coordination, allowing the Government to maintain overall coordination over Timor-Leste’s development process

Methodology

The Development Partnership Management Unit (DPMU) has appointed focal points from each Development Partner operating in Timor-Leste to support them enter and update the data in ATP on a quarterly, monthly or real-time basis, according to agreements and requests between DPMU and the Development Partner. Customized reports are available to all donors and DPMU will publish annual and quarterly aid reports through the Aid Transparency Portal (ATP). To ensure data quality, each donor has an internal validation process, and DPMU monitors the data regularly for data quality and completeness. Most donors have entered projects that were ongoing in 2010, and are continuously updating the platform with new information and new projects. It is fully the responsibility of the Development Partner to enter data into the ATP and the MoF is always available to provide training on data entry.

Funding information has been entered in the currency used by each respective Development Partner. These currencies are then converted to USD or other currencies, based on the exchange rate of the day that the financial transaction occurred. By default, data is shown in the ATP as USD under the Timor-Leste fiscal year (1 Jan- 31 Dec). However, data can be converted to other currencies and fiscal years (for example, Australia, New Zealand and Portugal) by using filters. The fields and definitions in ATP were developed in accordance with international standards, including the OECD/DAC and International Aid Transparency Initiative, and led by the Ministry of Finance in Timor-Leste. ATP is an active system that is continually updated with the latest aid information. Since some donors update their project information in real-time, information published in the ATP can change often. Therefore, when using or referring to the aid information in the ATP, it is important to also include the date and time that the ATP was accessed in order to produce comparable results.

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