Preparing your organisation for data publication

To get your organisation ready to publish data to IATI you’ll need to take several steps and have the full support of senior management.

Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Prepare the case for publishing to IATI
  2. Assess the potential risks of greater transparency
  3. Gain senior management backing
  4. Create your project team and choose your IATI champion
  5. Establish IATI publishing as a permanent business function
  6. Prepare a post-publication communications plan


1. Prepare the case for publishing to IATI

You may have to persuade senior managers and others that publishing information about the work you do to IATI is right for your organisation. There are many benefits to this, including:

  • improving your organisation’s profile – by committing to IATI and sharing more information on your activities, financial transactions, resources and results, your organisation can be more accountable and build trust with stakeholders – donors, beneficiaries, taxpayers and the public
  • communicating about your work – IATI provides a channel and opportunity for you to inform a global audience about your ambitions and successes
  • improving internal processes and systems – publishing to IATI can improve the data you provide to external stakeholders
  • improving interagency collaboration – publishing better data on projects, in line with organisations who do similar work, can improve coordination and collaboration between agencies, reduce duplication of effort and improve use of resources
  • limiting opportunities for corruption – publishing financial data makes it much harder to hide inappropriate payments or spending
  • addressing political pressures – transparency and openness are central to policy discussions in government, and IATI is a way of delivering on commitments to be open and improve accountability.

For more information about IATI and its wider benefits, see: Why use IATI?

2. Assess the potential risks of greater transparency

You should assess and mitigate the risks of moving to a more transparent culture. Through publishing to IATI your organisation:

  • may find its work and financial management are more closely scrutinised
  • must properly assess potential security implications of publishing data related to activities that may be sensitive because of their sector, type or location
  • should accept there may be costs in establishing a permanent business function for IATI publishing, or in adding this responsibility to an existing role.

3. Gain senior management backing

You need to get buy-in from your senior management team or senior decision-makers at the beginning of the process as it is likely that publishing will require resources from across your organisation. Senior managers must endorse the risks and benefits of operating more transparently.

Publishing to IATI is not simply about sharing information but is an opportunity to increase the openness of the whole organisation. Organisations that have already published have learned that integrating IATI and other transparency measures into their practices can increase success and impact.

4. Create your project team and choose your IATI champion

To implement IATI sustainably, many organisations form a working group or project team to bring together relevant departments and integrate ideas and practical plans for publishing IATI data. This group should generally be formed early in the process. You should choose a group member to be the IATI champion and take the lead on IATI publishing.

Areas involved in the IATI process may include:

  • finance
  • programmes
  • IT
  • legal
  • human resources
  • communications and marketing.

The project team should also create and maintain a timeline for publishing data initially and then regularly.

5. Establish IATI publishing as a permanent business function

IATI publishing is not a one-off activity but must be repeated regularly. This may mean creating new roles, responsibilities and business processes and updating existing job descriptions.

6. Prepare a post-publication communications plan

Once you’ve published, who do you want to tell? Some organisations create a web page that includes information about IATI and their commitment to transparency. Some give details of their publishing via social media, e-newsletters, to the media and so on. You need to decide how you will tell your stakeholders that you’ve published.

Some organisations that have created specific IATI pages on their websites are:

Do raise awareness and engage with IATI’s community of publishers and data users on the online forums Discuss and Twitter, using the hashtag #IATI.

It can help to create an open information policy for the whole organisation. This will help identify all sources of information that can be made public and what could be published to IATI.

More information about creating an open information policy is available at:

For an example of an open information policy from a non-governmental organisation, see:

If you have any questions about preparing your organisation for data publication, please contact the IATI technical team.

In this section:

Key qualities of IATI data

Publishing your data to IATI lets you tell a story about the work your organisation does, using the same methods and language as other organisations. This means your data is in the same format as that of others, making it easier for everyone to use and understand.

Information and data you can't publish (exclusions)

While the IATI Standard is designed for you to publish the most possible information about your organisation's development and humanitarian activities, there may be material you shouldn’t or can’t publish.

How to license your data

All the data you publish to IATI will be freely available for anyone to use for their own purposes. That’s because IATI is an open data standard. Open data is available to everyone to use and share without restrictions. It’s non-personal information released by people, organisations and governments.