The IATI standard is a living entity that will require improvement over time. These changes will be driven by the suggestions and experiences of the publishers and users of IATI-format data, and managed by the IATI Steering Committee through its Secretariat and Technical Advisory Group.
There are two types of upgrades:
Minor or Decimal Upgrades (e.g. from 1.01 to 1.02) will cover:
- code list modifications
- minor additions to the standard which improve the functionality without introducing substantial new content
- changes will be optional
- changes will be backwardly compatible.
Major or Integer Upgrades (e.g. from 1.x to 2.x) will cover
- substantial additions involving new areas of data
- new mandatory fields
- changes that are not backwardly compatible
- proposed minor upgrades that are disputed by one or more signatories.
Open Consultation on all proposed changes
All proposed changes, both major and minor, will be published on the IATI Knowledge Base (http://support.iatistandard.org/forums). Anyone can make a proposal, and the forum allows for a public exchange on the merits of the proposal to take place. The TAG Secretariat will contribute to these exchanges and will draft proposals for the formal formats required by the standard and xml schema.
Decimal Upgrade Procedures
Once a quarter the TAG Secretariat will select those proposals meeting the above mentioned guidelines and prepare a proposed decimal upgrade. The contents of this proposed upgrade will be published on the Knowledge Base and all signatories and publishers of IATI data will be informed of its contents by email. If no objections are received within 14 days, the upgrade will be submitted to the IATI Secretariat for approval, and the upgrade will be implemented.
Any objections will be addressed through further open discussion and modifications to try to achieve consensus of the participants disputing the proposal, with the IATI Secretariat acting as arbiter as necessary. The consultation period will be extended by a further 14 days if an objection results in a change to the proposed upgrade. If consensus cannot be reached the proposed change will be referred to a major upgrade.
Major Upgrade Procedures
The timing and planning for a major upgrade will be approved by the Steering Committee. All proposed changes will be fully documented and circulated to all signatories. There will be a consultation period, during which all comments and proposed modifications will be circulated. At the end of this period all signatories will be asked for their approval. Major upgrades will require the formal consent of signatories.