Transparency for Flood Donations – Isa Daudpota

From longtime friend, activist, media-watcher and accountability-demander Isa Daudpota in Islamabad:

Transparency for Flood Donations

Q. Isa Daudpota

Pakistanis and foreign donors recoil at the general lack of credibility of the government and other institutions when it comes to proper utilization of funds.  It is important that this perception is removed quickly if one is to move beyond the immediate relief funding for the flood, which will dwarf in comparison with long-term rehabilitation of people and infrastructure restoration.

Only donor pressure on the government can make it change so that it puts its accounts on the web for regular monitoring by donors and the people.  Civil society organizations and NGOS, large and small, on the other hand, ought to become the fore-runners in making their accounts available to all on their websites.  The information that needs to be continually updated electronically for example is:  Name of donor (unless the person wants to be anonymous);  Amount donated; Town/District-wise collection figures; Utilization by town and district (shown under 10 heads say, such as food, clothing, health, housing support, schooling, transport, administration); Total amount utilized; Pie-chart showing expenditure under the 10 heads, etc.  The website should also include plans for current and future work indicating if and when more funds are needed and for what purpose.

Putting such data and regularly updating it on websites is very easy and each city has enough professionals who can help with this.  Once set up, the finance officers of NGOs can do this.

To get the ball rolling two key figures, Sattar Edhi and Imran Khan ought to put this idea into action – their web template if sufficiently modular could become a model for other NGOs and perhaps even the government.

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