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Why Transparency Matters Part 2: What does it mean to be transparent?

“Why Transparency Matters” is a six-part blog series featuring AidData, Development Initiatives, Foundation Center, Open Aid Partnership, Oxfam America, and Publish What You Fund. These organizations are coming together with InterAction to discuss transparency – why it matters, what it means to be transparent, what impact transparency has on aid effectiveness, and more. In this second blog, we asked organizations to tell us about what it means to be transparent.

Why Transparency Matters

“Why Transparency Matters” is a six-part blog series featuring AidData, Development Initiatives, Foundation Center, Open Aid Partnership, Oxfam America, and Publish What You Fund. These organizations are coming together with InterAction to discuss transparency – why it matters, what it means to be transparent, what impact transparency has on aid effectiveness, and more. In this first blog, we asked contributors to tell us why transparency is important to their organizations and why someone should care about this issue.

Transformations in Haiti

Michaele was 18 and pregnant with her first child when the earthquake hit. Within minutes, she was buried alive beneath concrete rubble unsure if she and her unborn child would live or die. 

That was four and a half years ago. Michaele was among the fortunate ones to survive the devastating 7.0-earthquake that shattered Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Her home destroyed, she traveled north to a small, rural town called Saut d’Eau and tried her best to eke out a modest existence. 

Moving U.S.-Africa Relationships Forward

In 1990, I boarded a plane for Sierra Leone as a wide-eyed college graduate ready to change the world. I had never been to Africa, did not know much about Sierra Leone, and not being a detail person, had never even looked for or located the country on a map. In many ways, I represented the worst of bad development practice: well-meaning outsiders without a clue about anything foisting themselves on problems and proposing solutions.

Drenching Rains Bring Fresh Misery to South Sudanese Camps

After what seemed like a slow start to a mild rainy season, the rain and all the chaos it entails came to Bentiu’s Protection of Civilians (POC) camp on Friday.

We’d been expecting the rainy season for a while, but we’d begun to hope we might get off light. Just last week, a colleague asked, “Is it just me, or is this rainy season really not that rainy?” 

The Human Side of Ebola

 
An Ebola outbreak unprecedented in terms of its deadliness and its geographic reach has been sweeping through West Africa, hitting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to the World Health Organization, over 800 people have so far been infected and more than 500 have died, with the numbers steadily climbing. Initial flu-like symptoms develop quickly into vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes internal and external bleeding. There is no vaccination and the mortality rate can be up to 90%. 
 

Connecting Efforts to Protect Children and Empower Women Economically

We walked to the Tuesday market in Lusaka, Zambia and I stopped to buy some avocados. The woman who sold them had a horribly disfigured face that made it hard for her to speak. When she handed me my change she struggled to grip the money with her twisted and lame arm.

After we walked away I asked my Zambian friend who accompanied me if he thought her injuries were the result of a cooking accident, a common cause of injury for women in Africa. He said no. Her boyfriend’s wife had doused her with acid.

Conflict and Late Rains Drives Thousands from their Homes in Somalia

Shukri Sheikh Ali thought this year would be different. It was to be a time of rebuilding, of recovering, of returning home. Instead, she is starting over once again from scratch, her land thirsty for rain and her village emptied by conflict as Somalia once again faces the threat of a cascading and critical food shortage.

Pact Mourns Loss Of Former Leader

Former Pact president and CEO Louis Mitchell, who oversaw Pact’s transition from a membership organization to an international development NGO, passed away Tuesday.

Mitchell served as Pact’s leader from 1989 to 2001 and helped to pioneer capacity-building of local organizations into an important sector of international development. Capacity development still serves as a linchpin of Pact’s integrated approach to local solutions in the 30 countries in which Pact works today.

Letter from the President: Wow... What a Forum!

Dear Friends:

Forum 2014 came to a close Friday after four days of invigorating discussion, vibrant community-building, and some exciting new developments:
 
1. InterAction’s NGO Aid Map went global – our members are now mapping projects in all countries and all sectors.

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