New IATI paper on how to minimise the transparency burden

  • March 18, 2010

In January the Secretariat published a new paper outlining how IATI can offer added value to existing aid reporting systems without disproportionate cost to donors. The paper, Implementing IATI: Practical Proposals argues that rather than just improving existing databases, IATI should extend the range of aid information that is made available, including documents as well as data, and make it quick and easy for users to find.

Secretariat member Carolyn Culey explains how the system would work:

“Donors would use their existing internal systems for collecting aid information.  But they would include additional information needed by other stakeholders and publish the information more rapidly, and in a common electronic format. They would then register the location of their information in an IATI Registry – a kind of online catalogue that would enable users to locate it.”

The paper notes that many different users want access to aid information for many different purposes, and no single database can satisfactorily meet all of those diverse needs. It says that donors are currently engaged in duplicate reporting, for example providing information to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) databases and to many individual country-based Aid Information Management Systems (AIMS), as well as responding to ad hoc requests for aid information.

“The IATI approach can be summarised as ‘publish once, use often’” says Calolyn Culey. “It will reduce duplicate reporting by allowing donors to assemble their aid information once, in a way that would meet existing internal and external reporting requirements, at the same time as responding to the demand for additional information.”

The proposals are designed to minimise the additional burden and maximum benefits of aid transparency by ensuring that information, once collected, is universally accessible.

Click here to view the a copy of the full study Implementing IATI: Practical Proposals.