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Category Archive: Questions on IATI

  1. 23. Are there any visualisations of IATI data?

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    A number of organisations are now using open data platforms driven by IATI data, marking an important shift from publishing raw data to visualising it in a meaningful way for users. In addition to the ones highlighted in the 2014 report, a number of organisations have implemented recent changes, notably using an open license on their portal, therefore allowing for use, reuse and modification of the data. Changes were implemented in particular by the U.S. Dashboard (beta.foreignassistance.gov/), GAVI (www.gavi.org/results/disbursements/), UNICEF (open.unicef.org) and France-AFD (afd.opendatasoft.com/page/apropos/). For more on tools using IATI data: see Case Study 1, p9 of the 2016 Index Report.

  2. 22. Who actually uses IATI data?

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    Now that an increasing amount of information is being published to IATI, the challenge is to encourage wide-ranging use of the data. At Publish What You Fund, we use IATI data in the Index to measure whether and to what extent donors are delivering on their promise to make their aid transparent. The case studies developed in the 2014 and 2016 Index reports as well as the 2015 EU and U.S. Aid Transparency Reviews highlight examples of data use. For instance, the Netherlands is using its own information for internal management and reporting purposes and is working with two of its partner organisations publishing to IATI in order to stimulate exchange and learning, with the longer-term aim of including open data throughout its supply chains. The pilot studies on data use by partner countries, conducted by organisations such as USAID highlights existing data gaps and ways in which information can be made more useful. The Aid effectiveness project in Bangladesh is one of the most recent examples of IATI data import into Aid Information Management System of a partner country. Similar initiatives have or are taking place in other countries such as Senegal or Cote d’Ivoire. Together, these initiatives hold great promise for unlocking the potential of IATI.

  3. 21. Why do activity budgets have to be forward-looking and broken down by quarter for the first year ahead for IATI publishers to scre the maximum available points on indicator 33?

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    This is based on partner country feedback on a country AIMS survey, conducted by IATI, which emphasised the need for forward-looking data that is broken down by quarter for planning purposes. Providing annual forward budgets allows an IATI publisher to score up to half the total available data quality points, while a quarterly breakdown for the first year ahead will enable them to score the remaining half (information published to IATI is scored higher than information published in other formats).

  4. 20. Why has there been more emphasis attached to the frequency of publication to the IATI Registry since the 2014 Aid Transarency Index? Why is frequency of publication only assessed for IATI data?

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    In 2014, we adopted a more nuanced approach to frequency, so we can monitor if donors are publishing monthly, quarterly or less frequently, in line with the Common Standard commitment and partner countries request for data at a minimum on a quarterly basis. This change was made based on Publish What You Fund’s public consultation on the Index data quality tests and based on the findings of a survey of the needs of Aid Information Management Systems (AIMS) used in partner countries. Only IATI data is scored on frequency. Unfortunately, it is not possible to take into account frequency of publication for data published in other formats because the information is not always time-stamped.

  5. 19. Why does IATI XML data have to be on the IATI Registry for it to be taken into account in 2016?

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    Only data linked to the IATI Registry will be taken into account in 2016 in recognition that it is easier to locate and use than data published in lots of different locations. The IATI Registry is an important component of IATI publication, as it makes data discoverable and easier to access. IATI publishers “register” their IATI XML data, providing links back to the original source data – which remains on donors’ own websites – and other useful metadata. As a result the IATI publication approach is interpreted strictly for the Index, meaning that IATI XML data needs to be available via the IATI Registry for it to be taken into account. IATI XML data that is not on the Registry is scored the same as other machine-readable data.

  6. 18. How do you measure the quality of IATI data? What are the tests you run on IATI data?

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    The quality of data published in IATI XML is assessed by running a series of tests on all activity and organisation data packages being published to the Registry. These tests have been designed to assess the availability and comparability of aid information and to determine whether an organisation’s IATI data conforms to the IATI Standard appropriately. Most of the tests have been derived directly from the IATI schemas which provide formats for reporting data on various information fields to the IATI Registry. The tests return results for the percentage of activities within an organisations’ data packages that contain correctly coded information on the specific indicator being tested. For example: what percentage of activities reported contain a title? Or what percentage of activities that have been completed contain information on results? The full list of tests can be accessed here.

  7. 17. Why is IATI so important? Aren’t other forms of publication just as good in their own way / for specific purposes?

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    IATI is the agreed standard for publishing current aid information in a common, comparable format. While donors may publish extensive information on their own website or to the DAC, it will always lack these vital elements of being current and comparable. IATI also includes some “added-value” fields, for example results, impact appraisals, sub-national location and a budget identifier.