A recent blog post from our friend Roderick Besseling at Cordaid described a presentation he made to students at Lund University in Sweden. We welcome the interest in IATI, and would like to follow up on a couple of questions raised during the discussion.
Q: Why is [IATI] a top down process, why isn’t this lead by the beneficiaries from the bottom up?
A: The process of developing IATI started by consulting stakeholders in partner countries about the information they need on development cooperation. Representatives of over 70 partner countries confirmed their priority need for timely, up-to-date, and reliable data – data on where, when, by whom, how, on what, and in which sectors development cooperation is spent. They stressed the need for better information to allow them to monitor results and the impact of aid, and they wanted better coverage. The consultations also confirmed that many different people wanted data for many different purposes, and concluded that it would be impossible for a single database to meet all of these individual needs.
Q: IATI is supposed to help with accountability, but project descriptions are usually in English, how are local communities supposed to disseminate this information?
A: At this stage, we are working on growing the list of IATI members and publishers, and helping people to understand better the benefits of IATI. Information on IATI is available here on our website in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian.