‘Innovative thinking is encouraged alongside practical solutions that will help people to use the available data’
Since 2008, enormous progress has been made by the development and humanitarian aid communities to make their activities and spending transparent through IATI.
With over one million activities now published, IATI is fully committed to ensuring this data is routinely and systematically used to help achieve sustainable development.
Our Data Use Strategy 2017-19 sets out priorities agreed by IATI members and includes funding to support data use activities, and research to better understand the opportunities and challenges of data use.
Data Use Strategy 2017-19
The Data Use Strategy was informed by extensive research in 2016/17 looking into the barriers that prevent user groups from benefiting from IATI. The strategy has five key objectives to help overcome these challenges:
Objective 1: Raise awareness of IATI as a source of aid data and develop a common understanding of the priority needs of different user groups.
Objective 2: Improve data quality in order to facilitate use, and assure users of its reliability, including through the development of feedback mechanisms.
Objective 3: Improve existing tools and develop new, user-friendly tools that help multiple actors access and use IATI data.
Objective 4: Improve guidance, training and support for specific user groups.
Objective 5: Promote integration of IATI data into partner country aid systems and processes.
Data Use Task Force
A cross-section of IATI members have formed a Data Use Task Force that represents all member types. The task force convenes regularly and works with IATI’s Secretariat, to oversee and promote the implementation of IATI’s Data Use Strategy 2017-19.
Data Use Fund
In 2017 IATI launched a Data Use Fund with an initial budget of $250,000. The funding is available to members of the community who propose solutions to meet challenges identified by the Data Use Task Force and meet one or more of the five objectives of the strategy. Innovative thinking is encouraged alongside practical solutions that will help people to use the available data. We encourage organisations working with IATI data to apply for funds to build sustainable features that help people use IATI data. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the fund’s official administrator and works with the Data Use Task Force to prepare Terms of Reference documents for each strategic objective. During each contracting period, proposals are welcomed from any organisation with ideas of how to overcome the barriers to data use.
For more information on the IATI Data Use Fund including on how to apply for finance from the Data Use Fund, visit Data Use Fund or contact Lea Zoric, IATI’s Outreach and Data Use Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IATI community data use projects
Different members of the IATI community lead a range of data use projects each year, from raising awareness and capacity building, to technical work that allows countries and organisations to directly import IATI data. Some of the projects from 2018 are outlined here:
Importing IATI data into UN OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service
The Financial Tracking Service (FTS) of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Centre for Humanitarian Data, the IATI technical team and Development Initiatives are running a pilot project that aims to provide an automated way for organisations to publish information about their humanitarian funding and activities. Over the course of 2018, five organisations will trial using the IATI Standard to share data with OCHA’s FTS.
Promoting IATI data at World Press Freedom Day
At UNESCO’s annual World Press Freedom Day held this year in Accra, Ghana, IATI provided training to 40 youth journalists, showing them how to explore IATI data online through d-portal.org. At a stand in the conference centre many more of the 700+ participants learned about IATI for the first time and were shown ways to access the data.
Tracing US development flows to Ghana using IATI
In early 2018 Oxfam and Development Initiatives released a report called ‘Tracing US development flows: A study of the traceability of US aid to Ghana’. The report provides a methodology, based on the IATI Standard, for carrying out a traceability analysis. The report also presents findings and recommendations on how IATI traceability can be improved.
Spotlight on IATI data use - profiles
We want to understand our data users better and undertake research to gain insights into how they use data and what could be improved.In 2017 IATI released a series of profiles to look at the use of open data by developing country governments.Based on a recent survey led by UNDP, these profiles tell us a great deal about IATI data at country level and what the challenges and opportunities are for improving its use.
Spotlight Country Profiles:
Spotlight on IATI Data Use: Bangladesh
Spotlight on IATI Data Use: Ghana
Spotlight on IATI Data Use: Liberia
Spotlight on IATI Data Use: Montenegro
Spotlight on IATI Data Use: Nigeria
Spotlight on IATI Data Use: Rwanda
Spotlight on IATI Data Use: Somalia
Spotlight on IATI Data Use: Yemen
Country Profiles: Summary Note