This post has been written by Wendy Thomas, IATI Technical Lead based at Development Initiatives.
Welcome to the IATI Technical Team’s quarterly update. Every quarter, we update our community on the progress made on IATI tech and share our plans for the next quarter. The Technical Team’s quarterly plans are approved by IATI’s Governing Board technical focal points. You can read the last quarter's update here.
Datastore and Validator
As mentioned in our last update, the Datastore’s Query Builder was released for testing in October. A number of bug fixes and improvements have been identified and implemented. We have been through all the issues that we logged during the testing period using the MoSCoW method to work out what things MUST be fixed before a full launch. You can watch the progress of this project in Github.
Similarly, the Validator was launched for testing in mid-November. The IATI Business and Data Analysts held a webinar to demonstrate how to use the tool and feedback from participants was collated and reviewed on Github by the Technical Team and Data4Development (who are building the tool). Work on some identified bugs started in December and will continue in Q1 of 2020. You can watch the progress of this project in Github.
The Datastore has a dependency on system integration with the Validator; once the Validator is ready both tools will be officially launched.
Website - iatistandard.org
Work on the website has included writing content, upgrading the search function, agreeing designs for new page templates and finalising the information architecture. Development of the new templates has started; these are planned to be released in two stages, one in February and one in March. We have also updated dependencies from older versions.
A recent notice on IATI Discuss from the IATI Technical Team sets out what IATI Standard content will be migrated from Github to our website’s backend platform, Wagtail.
Work on the IATI Registry this quarter included paginating the publisher list on the main page, adding a search functionality and making the publisher list download available, making it easier for users to find the information they are looking for. Work also started on Python 3 upgrades.
The Technical Team has successfully upgraded the IATI Dashboard to Python version 3 in the last quarter. Going forward, the team will work on implementing Python 3 upgrades on the Publisher Statistics site.
Sustainable Development Goals guidance webinars
The Business and Data Analysts held two SDG webinars, both of which were well attended. These allowed organisations to better understand guidance on reporting SDG data to IATI and what they are being asked to publish.
For those who were unable to attend, the Technical Team has made a recording of the SDG IATI webinar available online.
Two members of the IATI Technical Team traveled to Cote D’Ivoire to join the Francophone African Open Data Conference in December 2019 which brought together open data enthusiasts to find solutions to development data needs in French-speaking Africa. At the conference, six teams of 30 people took part in an IATI Hackathon. The hackathon involved teams identifying data use needs and developing platforms to meet these needs using IATI data.
Read more about the IATI Hackathon at the CAFDO 2019 in a blog from the Technical Team.
Looking ahead to 2020
The IATI 2020 Workplan has been approved by the IATI Governing Board and sets out ambitious and exciting work for the IATI Technical Team. We will be taking another look at our entire technical estate, preparing a data quality workplan, continuing our guidance review, supporting the Secretariat to promote data use, and engaging with publishers and external groups.
I look forward to keeping IATI’s community up-to-date with our progress on delivering the IATI Workplan 2020.