Consultation on data standards for IATI phases one and two

  • May 28, 2010

The IATI Secretariat sent out a note on 5 May inviting comments from all IATI signatories, endorsers and observers, partner countries and Steering Committee and TAG members on proposals for the data to be included in parts one (scope), two (definitions) and three (electronic format) of the IATI standard. By 27 May we had received comments from 13 signatories, 2 observers, 4 CSOs, and 2 consultants. Unfortunately no partner countries had commented by the deadline.

The consultation remains open at for those who still wish to comment. Online consultation enables us to process feedback as efficiently as possible and allows all participants to view comments made by others. The proposals on the scope of IATI are accompanied by specific proposals from the TAG on common definitions and data format that were discussed by the TAG at its meeting on 22 and 23 March (see record of that meeting). They include existing codes lists (via hyperlinks on the site) that we propose should form the core of the IATI standard taxonomy, on which we can subsequently build.

The comments welcomed the greater level of precision about the proposals and, with a couple of exceptions, that they build on existing reporting standards. But as the deadline of reporting on phase 1 by the end of 2010 approaches, donors are cautioning about changes they will need to make to their systems and the difficulty of reporting monthly and in more detail. Some question the inclusion of a few data elements or seek more information and/or to postpone some items to a later phase. All continue to have problems with providing budgets and planned disbursements 3 to 5 years ahead.  CSOs wish to see the momentum maintained, faster progress on items such as conditionality, and information on the outcome of procurement.

The TAG Secretariat is now reviewing the comments and will invite comment between 4 June and 11 June on any major issues (with a one week lag for French and Spanish versions). We will circulate a revised version of the proposals, with recommendations where choices need to be made, on 23 June prior to a meeting of the all signatories, Steering Committee members and endorsers of IATI in Paris on 7 July, to agree final, detailed proposals for data.

Implementation of IATI will be phased, increasingly helping to meet commitments made in the Accra Agenda for Action. The consultation document outlines the proposed phasing of publication for each category of information. We have sent a donor assessment questionnaire to signatories and observers seeking information about any flexibility they require within the overall phasing for staged implementation. The content and timing of the phases is as follows:

Phase one – end of 2010

This will lay the foundations for IATI. It focuses on more timely publication of data that are already captured by donor systems plus interim advice on linking documents that are already in the public domain to IATI. Phase one will also provide some high-level information on future aid flows, in total and for contributions to major international institutions.

Phase two – September 2011 – prior to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.

This proposes to expand the range of existing information by publishing data that are routinely collected by donors’ internal systems, such as project contacts, beneficiaries and budgets, as well as information on conditions and future aid flows at country-budget level. It will link the published data to the economic, sectoral, functional and administrative classifications used by recipient country budgets.

Phase three – end of 2012

This proposes to further expand the range of data and documents published to include some categories of information that are not routinely collected by donor systems and will therefore require more substantial amendments to existing systems, e.g. detailed geographic information, output and outcome indicators and results indicators.

During the second half of 2010, we will do further work on part four of the IATI standard—the code of conduct—and on publication of documents and the remaining data items. We will present proposals for consultation in October and November.

We encourage everyone to comment. This is your chance to shape IATI!