We spoke to Elie Gasagara, Partnership Leader of Global Accountability at World Vision International about the organisation’s recent decision to join IATI.
Tell us about your role?
At World Vision International I’ve been in charge of transparency and accountability for the last four years, but I’ve worked for the organisation for almost 18 years.
When did World Vision International first learn about IATI?
World Vision International has been engaged in the transparency and aid effectiveness agenda for many years. We’ve attended many important global events relevant to IATI, including the Third High Level Forum for Aid Effectiveness in Accra (2008), where IATI was launched.
"Becoming a member means we have a seat at the table to influence key decision-making and strategic planning within IATI."
You started publishing your spending to the IATI Standard at the start of this year - why?
At the first World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, our president and CEO, Kevin Jenkins joined many governments and CSO leaders in committing to publish open data on humanitarian assistance financing within two years. With the growing importance and rapid momentum of publishing IATI data in the development and now humanitarian sector, we felt the time was right for World Vision International to make this commitment.
Why have you decided to join IATI as a member?
As we know, you do not need to be a member of IATI to publish IATI data, however World Vision International made the decision because we see many added benefits of joining this initiative.
Becoming a member means we have a seat at the table to influence key decision-making and strategic planning within IATI. We can learn best practice from other members about publishing and using IATI data, and keep track of developments in global transparency. We also get to engage with different stakeholders in IATI beyond Civil Society Organisations, including donors and recipient (or partner) country governments.
"Increasingly governments like the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands are making IATI publishing a condition of receiving their aid, so CSOs should move in the direction of complying with this increasingly adopted requirement from donors."
What are the benefits of using IATI data?
I see the current purpose of the data as helping staff in partner governments track the flow of aid coming into their countries, which is required for better planning and coordination of resources.
What improvements do you want to see in IATI data?
I’d like to see publishers provide more data on results. Currently there is a lot of information being published to IATI on finances, but we want to find out the impact that spending makes, to inform future spending decisions.
The completeness of IATI data is also a challenge; although it’s a voluntary initiative I’d like to see many more organisations getting involved and publishing IATI data so that more information is available.
What would you say to encourage other Civil Society Organisations to start publishing their spending and results to IATI?
Firstly, IATI is a brilliant marketing tool to share success stories about using money that you’ve received. Instead of waiting to receive a written report, funders and the public can see what you’re delivering instantly by visiting IATI’s d-portal.org.
Increasingly governments like the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands are making IATI publishing a condition of receiving their aid, so CSOs should move in the direction of complying with this increasingly adopted requirement from donors.
Finally, it's important to recognise that by publishing IATI data, you are helping to achieve the shared goal of improving international development. Making more aid information available to recipient countries will help achieve this by increasing the effectiveness of aid.