Analyzing the UN Tsunami Relief Fund Expenditure Tracking Database: Can the UN be More Transparent?

May 22, 2006

When it began its relief effort in response to the 2004 tsunami in South/Southeast Asia, the UN for the first time created a real-time database to track expenditures across countries, program sectors, and relief agencies. The International Budget Partnership (IBP) has used the information in the database to conduct an analysis of the UN’s relief expenditures. After completing the analysis, IBP finds that much useful information is available in the database that raises important questions about the nature of the UN agencies’ relief expenditures. However, the IBP has found that the form and content of the database itself prevent a full and thorough analysis from being completed.