A new report launched at the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up meeting (22 – 25 May) has referenced IATI.
The Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development’s (IATF) new report annexes data and analysis for over 100 clusters of commitments and actions across the nine chapters of the Addis Agenda.
More than 500 organizations, including donors, NGOs, foundations, development banks and private sector, publish data through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative. IATI data is timely, comprehensive and forward-looking in a format that is machine-readable, comparable and openly accessible.
In 2016, IATI has worked to better meet the needs of humanitarian actors and to this end has worked to establish new guidance on the reporting of humanitarian data. The most recent update to the standard to version 2.02 also includes the ability to publish results and needs assessments and to tag activities to specific SDGs. These upgrades to the standard together with sustained outreach activities by UNDP in its role as coordinator of the IATI Secretariat have also led to an increase in membership numbers in IATI from 66 to 75 members, including four additional UN agencies (UNIDO, UNEP, FAO and WHO). See IATI website for more.
While acknowledging progress in completeness and timeliness of data from development partners on development cooperation, the latest DCF Accountability Study calls for greater attention and efforts to address the persisting challenges facing developing countries, including uneven accessibility of development cooperation information systems for different stakeholders; difficulties in collecting quality data through existing development cooperation information systems; and lack of financial resources to develop and strengthen development cooperation information systems.
There has been a strong surge in the total number of organisations publishing data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standard. The total now stands at over 500, an increase by more than one third from 350 in late 2015. During the same period, publishers have significantly expanded the volume of activities they publish, with spending of US$146 billion reported to IATI in 2016, rising from US$78 billion in 2015. Timeliness of reporting has improved, with 96 per cent of the data (US$140 billion) reported by publishers updating their data at least every quarter – increasing from 80 per cent in 2015; 48 per cent of data is provided by publishers updating their data at least every month – rising from 41 per cent in 2015.
Donors have significantly increased the amount of forward-looking budget data they publish. In late 2015 published forward-looking data on planned international development cooperation expenditure rose to US$126 billion for 2017 and 2018. These improvements by publishers are helping to meet partner country requests for more timely and forward-looking data and making the data more valuable for a broad range of stakeholders. Different means of accessing and using IATI data are becoming available at country level, with systems providers beginning to include modules for importing IATI data directly into national Aid Information Management Systems. As the volume of good quality reliable data increases, partner country members of IATI such as Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar, Myanmar and others are now able to use the data to inform reporting and budgeting. National representatives also use it to learn more about projects reported in their constituencies not just by bilateral and multilateral donors, but also by international and national NGOs, foundations and increasingly – private sector organisations.