With the exception of the three elements considered to be optional data (sub-national geographic location, text of conditions, and results data), the fields in the IATI Standard should all be considered mandatory. This does not mean that data needs to be reported under each element, but that this should be the aspiration. It is recognised that some elements will not be relevant to all organisations or information in some areas may need to be excluded for reasons of security of confidentiality. However, where this is the case, this needs to be stated clearly in the Implementation Schedule in order for users to understand why this information is not available (the optional elements would not require the same level of explanation as there is no expectation that these will be published at present).
Exclusions aside, there are some elements that are required in order for the information published in activities to make sense, although this still does not mean that all elements need to be included. For example, when it comes to geopolitical information, either the country or the region should be provided but it is not necessary to provide both. There will also be some elements that are not relevant in all activities, for example activities may be ongoing so will not have an end date (but they will need to have a start date). Where there are multiple types (such as transaction and participating organisations) it is acknowledged that not all of these will be relevant in each activity. However, each activity should contain at least one participating organisation and one transaction. The reporting organisation (and its organisation identifier) and activity identifier needs to be provided for each activity.