IATI at OGP: Joined-up Data Standards and the SDGs

  • Oct. 22, 2015
OGP Summit Logo

OGP Summit 2015 (Source: OGP)

On Wednesday 28th October, IATI are co-hosting a session at the 2015 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit, with Development Initiatives and Publish What You Fund, on the role of joined-up data standards in meeting and monitoring the SDGs.

Through a series of lightning talks moderated by Martin Tisnė, Policy Director at the Omidyar Network, panellists from government, civil society, and open data initiatives will share their views and experiences on ways to turn more data into better information, by enhancing the comparability of data standards.

Recently, IATI became a member of the Joined-up Data Alliance (JDA). We believe that joining-up data on aid, contracts, budgets, humanitarian assistance and other development-related data offers an exciting new frontier for open data and its ability to support efforts to tackle global development issues. Through the JDA, IATI can work with other data standard communities, to encourage user-centric design in the creation of standards and share common methodologies and coding systems in fields such as geospatial data, functional sectors and organisational, corporate and demographic identifiers.

Collaboration on areas such as these can mean that data is more comparable across different standards. This could enable easier tracing of, for example development cooperation flows, following them from donors, through implementing partners, to recipient governments and procurement systems, and even down to the beneficiary level.

Momentum is building in the area of joined-up data with the second launch of International Open Data Charter in Mexico this week. The Charter offers a way to join up silos of disconnected data on resource flows and socio-economic indicators, highlighting that: “When data can be effectively combined and compared, it can help highlight trends, identify social and economic challenges and inequities, and benchmark progress in public programs and services”.

Under principle four of the charter, signatories pledge to “engage with domestic and international standards bodies and other standard setting initiatives to encourage increased interoperability between existing international standards, support the creation of common, global data standards where they do not already exist, and ensure that any new data standards we create are, to the greatest extent possible, interoperable with existing standards”.

Open Data Charter Principles

The principles of the Open Data Charter (Source: www.opendatacharter.net/)

IATI is excited to be part of increased international efforts to bring together data standards in an effort to enable more effective use of data. This is particularly important as the SDGs enter the implementation stage, and better information is required to monitor their delivery.

We look forward to discussing these ideas further at the OGP Summit next week. To sign up for the event, and for details of our speakers, see the OGP Summit 2015 Schedule .

This piece is based on a blog by Conrad Zellman of Development Initiatives on the OGP website.