ActivityStatus codes - mixup of descriptions for codes 3 & 4?


(Bill Anderson) #41

With the greatest of respect four people do not create a consensus - even in the relatively closed world of Discuss.

While no one would disagree that this is a mess and needs fixing, I happen to agree - and always have - with @Herman’s comment above:

Agree, the current definitions are confusing. The problem though is i.m.o. not the description, but the naming of the code. Post-completion suggests that this status comes after the completion status. This is not true though. The 'post-completion’ status comes before the completion status.

In other words, rightly or wrongly, code 4 (“Physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made, but the activity remains open pending financial sign off or M&E”) was defined to come before code 3.

To change the logical order in the meaning of the codes is a breaking change. This may well be a pedantic judgement and the bug fix may well be a pragmatic solution, but messing with standards is a slippery slope …


(Yohanna Loucheur) #42

This is not true. Post-completion indeed comes after the completion status, and makes sense if you think of having completed the activities of the project. This is in line with the IATI standard, where project activies (rather than other aspects or phases of the project) tend to be the focus.

You and Herman base your opinion on the descriptions that were added in 2.01. However, until 2.01 everyone understood the codes and agreed that 4 came after 3 (even though the wording was a bit weird). In 2.01 descriptions were added, and unfortunately got mixed.

Again, not true. We are asking for a bug fix precisely because there is no change to the actual meaning of the codes, which is determined by their names. Post-completion is indeed, and will remain, after completion (of activities).


(Mark Brough) #43

Thanks @bill_anderson for explaining @IATI-techteam thinking here. So, just to be clear:

EITHER (A):

  • the English descriptions (added v2.01) are wrong

OR (B):

  • the codes (added v1.01) are wrong
  • the English names (added v1.01) are wrong
  • the French names (added v1.04) are wrong

By consensus, yes I meant everybody else in this thread has come to the same conclusion (A). I agree that we should not change the standard without good reason, but I think we need to choose between the two options to fix this glaring logical inconsistency soon (again, it has been three years, so we are hardly being impatient or knee-jerk here).


(Bill Anderson) #44

Or ©

The codes are not wrong, but the names are wrong.

The descriptions (definitions) were, in my recollection, the original intended definition.

In my view Code 3 = Closed and Code 4 = Finalisation is a valid bug-fix.

I wasn’t aware of any knees jerking. Should I have been??


(Steven Flower) #45

Strangely - I can’t see this addition of the ActivityStatus in the 2.01 changelog, nor the original proposals.

There is an indication that this code list might be modified in the color-coded table view for 2.01, but I can’t see where the text is derived from.

At GitHub, we can see that the all changes on this list were undertaken in 2013 & 14.

NB: I’m not trying to “blame” anyone here, but find it interesting in that we can’t pinpoint the exact source of the issue we’re discussing - this is also very important for standards!


(Mark Brough) #46

Come on Bill. Changing the order of the codes clearly changes their meaning. And for newcomers to IATI, the idea that 4 comes before 3 will only add more confusion.

Do you have a source for this? Because I cannot find the current descriptions in any of the original consultation documents, whereas the codes and names have remained the same since 1.01. @stevieflow, the first time the descriptions appear is in the 2.01 upgrade process, right at the end in iteration 3, so it is not surprising that there was a mistake introduced here (below screenshot is from the linked Google Doc, clearly showing the descriptions did not exist before).

In which case, changing the English-language descriptions (introduced only at 2.01) would clearly also be a valid bug-fix, as it does not involve both re-ordering the codes in an illogical way (so that 4 comes before 3) and changing the English and French names.


(Andy Lulham) #47

So how do we move this forward as a bugfix? What sort of signoff do we need? What’s the protocol here?

Is there some documentation of process that you can refer us to, @bill_anderson?