London miniTAG on traceability

  • July 17, 2017

This post was written by John Adams, Chair of IATI’s Technical Advisory Group on the miniTAG meeting, London (28 June).

On a warm June evening in London, around 30 people gathered in the cafe at Southwark Cathedral to take part in the first ever IATI miniTAG.

At the same time as cathedral bell ringing practice…

The theme was traceability using IATI data and several show & tell presentations helped us all think through tracking spending and activities in development.

Rory and I presented work on DFID (UK’s Department for International Development) delivery chains by Zimmerman & Zimmerman and Open Data Services Co-op, including multi-tier chains joining together activities from multiple publishers.

Delivery chain mapping using IATI data. Image: @YohannaLoucheur

Adam and Martin from PWC described the challenges and opportunities of being a DFID fund manager and supporting smaller organisations in publishing high quality linkable data. They described it as “more stick than carrot” to start with but becoming easier and with great potential.

The Carrot and Stick approach. Image: @jonihillmanDI

Did I mention that the bells continued to ring?

Sarah from Transparency International discussed a potential tie-up between IATI and the Open Contracting Data Standard to help build a picture of who is involved in an activity. There are certainly opportunities to pursue here.

OJ from Denmark presented a few thoughts on how to handle core contributions in the IATI organisation file — he agreed to follow this up with a written paper that we can examine in more detail.

Anjesh from Young Innovations showed work on improving organisation identifiers for the 40,000 unique organisations found in the IATI dataset.

Genny from the Wellcome Trust asked for support in establishing good practices in grant management in Africa and particularly asked for help from the IATI community with the Good Financial Grants Practice initiative she is working on.

And to round off the evening (OK, that’s a bad bell ringing joke), Theo from The Netherlands showed the Tableau dashboard that the ministry are using to understand the traceability of Dutch funding to partner organisations.

We are really grateful to the OpenAg community who were meeting in Southwark Cathedral, and Reid Porter in particular, for helping us to find a venue  - we originally planned for around 15 people to turn up, but as the OpenAg and bilateral people were in town, this grew rapidly in the last week to around 35.

Thanks Reid for your help in organising the venue.

If you’d like to hold a miniTAG in your city, then look at some of the things we’ve learned.


The belltower at Southwark Cathedral with the Shard in the background. Image: @tafvelin