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Data collection process

Data collection ran from 1 October 2015 – 15 January 2016. Most information included in the Index is gathered from what each organisation publishes – either on its website, to the IATI Registry, or on national platforms such as the U.S. Foreign Assistance Dashboard or the OECD common standard website (for implementation schedules). A secondary data source is used to assess one indicator – the quality of Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation (more on this in the Technical Paper).

Information available via the IATI Registry was automatically collected and tested by a data quality tool. IATI data needed to be available via the IATI Registry in order to be taken into consideration. Based on feedback from peer reviewers and donors, and following a public consultation, some of the data quality tests were improved in 2014 to ensure that they accurately measure the quality of IATI data in line with the agreed IATI Standard. The consultation took place on Github. Feedback on ways to improve these quality tests is always welcome.

Information published to all other sources was collected via a manual survey. The survey is designed to assess the availability of information corresponding with the 36 publication indicators and the format in which it is published. All surveys were completed using information pertaining to the recipient country (or thematic sector, if the donor organises itself along those lines rather than by countries) receiving the largest amount of development flows by value from that donor agency. All development flows including official development assistance (ODA), other official flows (OOF) and non-traditional flows such as climate finance and south-south cooperation are taken into consideration for the purposes of the Index.

To establish that information is consistently published at the activity level, five activities were randomly selected within the country or sector. The 46 organisations assessed were invited to review the surveys and provide feedback. Their responses were then independently reviewed by expert civil society organisations (CSOs) and by Publish What You Fund before the surveys were finalised. All the information collected for the Index is stored on a publicly accessible platform called the Aid Transparency Tracker, including responses from donors and independent reviewers.