I've been puzzling on how best IATI data can support iterative/adaptive programme design and shared learning. As IATI project/finance data can be reported in near real-time and we can also easily update objectives and results, there is a potential for it to be useful for this purpose (although some kind of log of changes would be needed to track how a programme is adapted over time). One important part of adaptive design is integration of beneficiary feedback. It also may help support the transparency and participation elements of the Humanitarian Grand Bargain.
Whilst most feedback tends to be tracked at local project level, there is a reported challenge of sharing this learning upwards to inform programme design. See for example the learning from the beneficiary feedback mechanisms pilots in the UK: http://feedbackmechanisms.org/findings/ and also thisreport from Development Initiatives:
http://devinit.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Beneficiary-feedback-in-donor-programme-design-development-and-evaluation-Uganda-and-Kenya-Report-June-20161.pdf (page 11). Would including a summary of key feedback from beneficiaries in IATI data about the project help to address this challenge?
Would it also support better accountability? In theory, a wider range of constituents would be able to access and use the summary, via websites using IATI data, to check whether the programme/project has been adapted or changed as a result of the feedback.
Would integrating all reporting (project/finance/results/feedback) through one mechanism be more efficient for in-country organisations who are partners with either donor-country based organisations or with donors directly? And would those organisations accept IATI data reporting in lieu of traditional reports?
There are some key considerations in thinking about reporting feedback via IATI. For example, it would have to be done in line with responsible data use standards to protect individuals providing feedback. It may also be used to 'spin' media stories where the learning aspect is ignored, and therefore may limit what organisations are willing to disclose.
As it's qualitative data, perhaps the easiest/quickest way to integrate it is as a new document category, for example a code 'beneficiary feedback summary' http://iatistandard.org/202/codelists/DocumentCategory/
However in the longer term, would it be possible/desirable to include it as an additional element, to sit alongside the Results element?
I'd be interested in hearing your views.