This post has been written by Wendy Thomas, IATI Technical Lead based at Development Initiatives.
IATI will be taking the next step towards offering a more streamlined experience for publishers, by offering a new online publishing tool for organisations to publish their development and humanitarian data to IATI. Open procurement for the new tool will launch in the next few weeks.
This new approach agreed by the IATI Governing Board will offer a more streamlined experience for publishers of data, ultimately leading to benefits for users through more consistent, better quality data.
Currently IATI does not provide its own publishing tool, and organisations rely on a range of external tools to publish their data or build their own bespoke systems. This new approach agreed by the IATI Governing Board will offer a more streamlined experience for publishers of data, ultimately leading to benefits for users through more consistent, better quality data.
Benefits of an IATI publishing tool
By providing a publishing tool, IATI can ensure that organisations have the ability to publish for free, lowering the barrier to publication. Furthermore, by providing its own tool, IATI can quickly and directly implement simple updates directly, rather than relying on the current inconsistent approach of requesting updates from external tool providers.
Researching user needs
In line with the Technical Stocktake recommendation, IATI led a research project to better understand the needs and pain points of organisations publishing data to IATI.
The IATI Secretariat worked with external consultants Threshold World to undertake desk research, one-to-one interviews with stakeholders and an online survey. Threshold World also conducted a brief audit of the publishing tool landscape. Their research focused primarily on smaller publishers as a priority group, given that so many larger organisations have existing systems or processes in place. The detailed research helped establish what this group of publishers are looking for in a publishing tool:
- Intuitive process and User Interface
- Clear list of required fields
- Embedded help
- Clarity on options to select
- Ability to publish to the IATI Registry without having to understand XML
- Free to use
- Accurate data validation, and validation against IATI Schema / Rulesets
Less important requirements identified:
- Pre-configured Excel template
- Ability to publish in bulk
Open procurement for the provision of a free IATI publishing tool
The Governing Board considered the following three options for an IATI publishing tool:
- Option 1: Launching an open procurement for the IATI-owned publishing tool
- Option 2: Building a new IATI tool in-house
- Option 3: Licencing an existing publishing tool
After careful consideration of all options, the Governing Board agreed to the first option and instructed the Secretariat to launch an open procurement for the provision of a free IATI publishing tool. This will ensure a transparent, open process for selecting a supplier based on IATI’s detailed user and system specifications. Suppliers of existing tools will be encouraged to submit bids and we look forward to sharing details of the open procurement with IATI’s community shortly. Further information on this procurement process will be posted on IATI’s website in due course.