This post was written by Technical Advisory Group Chair, John Adams ahead of the TAG 2017 meeting (6-9 March, Dar es Salaam).
This week, I’m delighted that IATI is holding its Technical Advisory Group meeting in a developing country for the first time. As result we’ve seen the highest registration rate of developing country participants, from governments to civil society organisations. This is a great opportunity for us all to work together to solve common problems.
Realising the ‘virtuous cycle’
At the the last TAG meeting, we looked forward to working towards creating a ‘‘virtuous cycle’ where users and publishers work more closely together to make better analyses and decisions using IATI data.
“we’ve seen the highest registration rate of developing country participants, from governments to civil society organisations. This is a great opportunity for us all to work together to solve common problems”
As a result of the tremendous efforts from our community, we can celebrate that over 500 publishers have been encouraged and supported to publish an incredible $146bn of development spending. Efforts to improve the quality of information published has increasingly made IATI data more useful with:
- Timeliness up: 96% (US$140 billion) was reported by publishers who update their data at least every quarter, up from 80% in 2015.
- Forward-looking budget data increasing: US$126 billion was published for 2017 and 2018, compared to US$34 billion in the last Annual Report (for 2016 and 2017 budgets).
- Availability improved: IATI data is now available from at least nine out of the ten top development partners for 25 out of 27 Partner Country members – an increase of 8 since the last annual report.
Now that we have reached a critical mass of IATI data, lets get on and use it to solve problems in development.
Everyone is a user now…
I believe we now need to change our language. We’re no longer ‘publishers’ or users, we are actually all users trying to address problems together.
Over the last year we’ve seen a number of innovative projects from across the TAG community, including Initiative for Open Ag Funding to improve international standards for reporting on funding for food security and agriculture and a traceability pilot led by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Netherlands government, which aims to increase the traceability of activities through multilateral organisations.
“Now that we have reached a critical mass of IATI data, lets get on and use it to solve problems in development”
Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to Community Day – a first for IATI, where the agenda is solely dedicated to understanding the problems that IATI is trying to solve. Some key themes I want to explore are around better integration of IATI into government’s aid management systems, exploring specific user needs for IATI, improving tools and donors using the data for better analysis and cooperation.
Improving the IATI Standard
Like previous TAG meetings, our longstanding and dedicated technical specialists and open data enthusiasts will be working hard on Thursday to improve the IATI Standard.
This year we’ve had an incredible response on our online forum Discuss regarding the discussion papers posted by IATI’s technical team. We look forward to addressing these issues in greater depth and look ahead to the next standard upgrade.