A new IATI data access tool has been released that responds to the needs of partner countries for a simple Excel-formatted set of data on projections and spending by country. This was previewed at the 2020 IATI Members Assembly under the working title, ‘IATI Data Access’.
Working with partner countries as they engage with IATI data using this tool will inform IATI’s work with publishers to address data quality issues and the development of new tools and services.
This offers an interim solution to the recommendation from the IATI Technical Stocktake in 2020 to create “a new curated data set that provides an ‘opinionated’ version of the data that is easier to use” for those unfamiliar with IATI-XML. That work is underway but will take some time to deliver, and this new Country Development Finance Data tool is intended to ensure the needs of partner countries are met in the meantime. Working with partner countries as they engage with IATI data using this tool will inform IATI’s work with publishers to address data quality issues and the development of new tools and services.
Why was this developed?
“In order to be successful in delivering on its objectives, IATI must prioritise the particular data needs and challenges of partner countries.” This priority was identified in the IATI Strategic Plan 2020-25, and developing this tool is one of a number of activities looking at data access tools, data quality, etc., to ensure that the needs of partner countries are met.
One of the challenges we’ve worked to overcome with this tool is ensuring that a standard set of essential data is available in a user-friendly and familiar Excel format.
One of the challenges we’ve worked to overcome with this tool is ensuring that a standard set of essential data is available in a user-friendly and familiar Excel format. In this way it can be directly accessed by countries looking to fill data gaps at the national level, including countries that do not use national aid information management systems (AIMS). Our work in 2020 to support the governments of Nigeria and Chad to use IATI data for budget planning and in development cooperation reports provided the IATI Secretariat with valuable learning as we developed this tool, on the types and formats of data that are needed.
What does it offer and who is it for?
The Country Development Finance Data tool allows users to download Excel outputs that are designed to enable easy analysis in pivot tables, including:
- Quarterly aggregations of budgets, commitments, disbursements, and expenditures;
- Aggregations by reporting organisation (and type), sector, aid type, finance type, and implementing organisation.
While designed primarily to meet the needs of partner country governments for analyzing external development finance for budget planning and monitoring, the data that can be accessed easily using this tool will be valuable to many other data users looking for information by recipient country.
What is next?
While the tool is fast, simple and intuitive to use, the IATI Secretariat will provide additional guidance in the coming months on how to analyze the data in the Excel outputs, and will offer one-to-one training for partner country government officials in April-June.
For questions or support, please contact [email protected].