One of the most important decisions to be taken before you start implementing IATI is to decide how to present your particular business model in a way in which your work is best translated into an IATI activity. IATI leaves it up to you to define your units of aid and allows you to specify any number of hierarchical levels in which to best organise your activities. Your work might, for example, be broken into themes, programmes, projects, sub-projects and/or contracts. It is up to you to decide whether a hierarchical structure best tells the story of your organisation, or whether such a framework is irrelevant to the data that IATI is asking you to report.
Using multiple levels
If you decide to report your activities at more than one level you need to take the following points into consideration:
- You must provide a clear explanation of how you define your activities in the Implementation Schedule.
- The hierarchical level must be specified in the header of each activity.
- Activities recorded at level two or below must have their ‘parent’ activity recorded in the related-activity element.
- Double-counting must be avoided. Money amounts should be reported at the lowest possible hierarchical level and not repeated or aggregated at higher levels. It is acceptable to report different transactions at different levels: eg – you might report commitments or budgets at a project level, and disbursements or expenditure at a sub-project level.
- Lower level activities should have all required fields filled, inheriting data from their parent activity if necessary.