TAG 2017 – what next…?

  • March 17, 2017

This post was written by Technical Advisory Group Chair, John Adams, on the TAG 2017 meeting.

Last week, 137 participants from 36 countries attended our largest ever Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting in Dar es Salaam.

I am delighted to have been re-elected to serve as the TAG Chair, and thank you to the community for that vote of confidence.


At the start of the meeting, I said that TAG 2017 was about “solving problems together”, and everyone used the opportunity of being in the same location to cluster around key things that we need to work on. Here are seven ways I think we can keep moving forwards together:

1. Champion IATI at country-level

With almost 70% of our participants attending their first IATI meeting, the event was as much about introducing our initiative, as it was improving it with long-standing members.

It was encouraging to hear that, after learning about accessing IATI data through d-portal.org, representatives from Sierra Leone were keen to use it to support their government’s budget process and promote the initiative on an upcoming broadcast programme. This shows the power of IATI to engage a wide range of people in partner countries.

Your challenge: champion IATI to your colleagues in developing countries, including within country donor offices.

2. Support IATI’s inclusion in internal systems

Developing countries also said they would benefit from technical support to integrate IATI data into their existing government processes and systems.

During our excellent lighting-talks, the Government of Liberia shared their progress on working with Mark Brough on using IATI data in their internal information management systems for better aid coordination.

Your challenge: Work with government partners to help get IATI data into government systems.

3. Sell the benefits to IATI publishers

IATI is still a young standard and many organisations are interested in being a part of it. During one session, we heard about the business case on publishing from Akvo, which clearly articulates the benefits for an organisation.

Your challenge: Continue to communicate the advantages of IATI to people who you think could benefit from using the standard to share data.

4. Encourage humanitarian and SDG monitoring

Development Initiatives shared their project on monitoring the commitment of Grand Bargain signatories to publish their humanitarian assistance to IATI. We should continue to promote the humanitarian features of IATI v2.02 as well as exploring ways to best use IATI to support the monitoring of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.

Your challenge: learn about and use the humanitarian features of IATI 2.02.

5. Evolve IATI’s Standard

I really enjoyed the session that we had on IATI 3.0+ where we discussed different aspects of the future of IATI. I’ll write another blog post about that one day, but my sense was that we are keen to move IATI from a ‘publishing’ standard to a ‘data interchange’ standard and use it in a much wider range of situations to share data on our activities.
The final day of the TAG was a formal Standards Day where we discussed a range of possible changes to the IATI Standard, leading up to the next decimal upgrade (v2.03) later in 2017, and an integer upgrade (v3.01) in 2018.This was a fast-moving (and fun!) day, and we were pleased to have made some key decisions to move the Standard forward.

Your challenge: continue to contribute to the future evolution of the IATI Standard.

6. Help improve our tools and brand

IATI’s Technical Team and Secretariat shared plans on improving IATI’s tools, website and brand. A huge thanks to over 30 participants who took part in research to inform this work. The Tech Team will be continuing interviews with the community and encourage you to share your ideas on improving both publishers’ and users’ experience.

Your challenge: Take part in interviews to improve IATI’s tools and brand.

7. Keep working together to solve problems

Thanks again to all participants who made the TAG 2017 meeting a huge success. I hope the event has strengthen existing partnerships and helped create new ones. Do keep working together with your IATI colleagues, and keep us updated so we can promote your hard work within the community.