Add vocabularies to aid-type (included 2.03)

activity_standard
2-03_aid_types

(Bill Anderson) #9

For my response on the issue of classifying cash transfers please see this post.

The first use case for adding a vocabulary here relates to the Grand Bargain commitment to reduce the earmarking of donor contributions, for which a classification system of earmarking modalities has been developed (see Annex 1 to the Grand Bargain).

I think it is correct for the standard to include this classification. It could be introduced as a new element, but it seemed logical to add it as an aid type vocabulary.


(Herman van Loon) #10

@bill_Anderson: thank, this sheds some light on this topic.

Concerning the classification of cash transfers apparently some work needs to be done.

Concerning the earmarking discussion: this reminds me of the DAC classification for core (=non-earmarked) and non-core (=earmarked) contributions. This is a part of the DAC aid-type classification. The classification above looks like a more fine-grained classification solely for the purpose of distinguishing between all shades of earmarking.

So the question seems to be: do you just want to indicate the level of earmarking (the first colored column) or do you want to represent all aid types (the 2nd and 3th column) in IATI. If you only want to do the former, I would say a 4 valued code list and one additional element would be enough. If you intend the latter, I would be very reluctant since we are than introducing a fully fledged new Aid typology where we already have one in the form of the international DAC standard aid typology.

I agree with @YohannaLoucheur that we should be careful with introducing new aid typologies.


(Bill Anderson) #11

You ask what I want to do? As Technical Lead I want to reflect IATI’s commitment to the Grand Bargain (a commitment shared by many of its members including the Netherlands and Canada).

Signatories of the Grand Bargain have committed to the use of a system for classifying earmarking modalities which contains 12 values grouped into 4 categories.

If you disagree with this, is this not a matter for your humanitarian colleagues to take up in Grand Bargain channels?


(Herman van Loon) #12

I believe we have a misunderstanding here. The discussion is not if we should add the possibility to add earmark modalities to IATI or not. The discussion is about how we should do that.

The Grand Bargain requirement is that donors and aid organizations are transparent about their level of earmarking, so that the goal to reduce earmarking of contributions can be monitored.

To meet this requirement it could be sufficient to just add an earmarking element to the activity standard, with 4 possible values defined in a codelist(‘Unearmarked’, ‘Softly earmarked’, ‘Earmarked’, ‘Tightly earmarked’).

I would be very reluctant to add the whole aid typology from annex 1 to the standard for the following reasons:

  • it will increase the chance of inconsistencies when you have two aid typologies. So it will be decrease data quality and it will make aid-typology data harder to use;
  • it would mean moving away from the common standard we have right now;
  • it will mean adding a new, detailed aid-typology to donor’s and aid organizations project management systems. This will take time, if it will happen at all. So it will increase the effort and therefore the barrier to adopt the Grand Bargain requirements.

Can anybody who has been involved in the discussion about the content of Annex 1, shed some light on this (@OJ_?). The text on page 12:

Progressively reduce the earmarking of their humanitarian contributions. The aim is to aspire to achieve a global target of 30 per cent of humanitarian contributions that is non-earmarked or softly earmarked by 2020

suggests that what is enough to make the distinction between earmarked and non-earmarked or softly earmarked.


(Herman van Loon) #13

@bill_anderson @Ben_Parker A possible solution might be to use the same approach for earmarking as is chosen for the CRS purpose code, where a distinction is made between the 3 digits CRS code (high level sector classification) and the 5 digit CRS code (detailed level classification).


(Bill Anderson) #14

An earmarking codelist is, from the IATI angle, a third-party, non-embedded codelist. As is the case with DAC codelists, the content is not under our control. All we need to do is reference the codelist as a valid vocabulary.


(Herman van Loon) #15

@bill_anderson Doesn’t exactly the same argument apply to the CRS purpose 5digit and 3digit codelists? Here we do support both the course and fine level grain for IATI publication.


(Bill Anderson) #16

Apologies, @Herman, I missed this post

which I take to mean that you are happy with both parts of the earmarking list being optionally available.

Do you therefore agree to:

  • Adding a vocabulary attribute to the default-aid-type and aid-type elements. (If no vocabulary is specified the DAC vocabulary is assumed)
  • Adding a non-embedded codelist AidTypeVocabulary

(Herman van Loon) #17

Yes, that would be fine: it would allow IATI publishers to publish on
1 - the high level earmarking (Unearmarked, Softly earmarked, Earmarked, Tigthly earmarked)

OR

2 - on the detailed level (A - L). The high level earmarking can be derived from the detail codes.

I am still a bit doubtful about to call this an aid typology since the whole purpose of Annex 1 is to determine the level of earmarking. Wouldn’t it be an idea to keep this distinction clear by adding this vocabulary a new element ‘Earmarking’?


(Bill Anderson) #18

While there is nothing intrinsically wrong in adding another element, I am personally in favour of adding vocabularies as a more flexible approach to developing the standard.

I also observe from a multi-stakeholder perspective that the DAC doesn’t hold a monopoly in defining aid typologies beyond its membership.

What, for example, will we do if we don’t get a DAC code for cash transfer programming and the Grand Bargain team come up with another taxonomy?


(Herman van Loon) #19

I would prefer that we have one main aid typology since that will keep the IATI standard as close as possible to a common international standard as possible.

Therefore I see the Grand Bargain typology as additional typology for humanitarian aid activities, not as a replacement for the OECD/DAC typology.

That being said, the question remains how to model this in IATI. For me it would not be a showstopper to add the grand bargain classification as an aid typology, if there is an IATI guideline stating that:
1 - the OECD/DAC aid typology is the preferred common aid typology for all constituents
2 - that in addition to the OECD DAC Aid typology, for humanitarian aid activities an additional aid typology can be published for Grand Bargain signatories.

As an afterthought: when looking at the 4 level Grand Bargain earmarking, I suspect it might even be possible to derive the level of earmarking directly from the OECD/DAC typology.


(Bill Anderson) #20

Yes, I completely agree with this. This was taken for granted in the original OCHA proposal so apologies for not having made that clear.


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(John Adams) #21

@bill_anderson @Herman I agree - I had read the orginal proposal as adding an additional optional external codelist to sit alongside the existing OECD/DAC codelist and to provide additional information in specific contexts. That seems a sensible use for a vocabulary.


(John Adams) #22

@bill_anderson @Herman I agree - I had read the orginal proposal as adding an additional optional external codelist to sit alongside the existing OECD/DAC codelist and to provide additional information in specific contexts. That seems a sensible use for a vocabulary.


Version 2.03 Decimal Upgrade - Index of Proposals
Using IATI To Monitor the Grand Bargain Commitment on Earmarking
(IATI Technical Team) #23

Following the call to seek consensus on the humanitarian proposals that took place on 5th September 2017 this proposal has now been accepted for inclusion as part of v2.03


(Ole Jacob Hjøllund) #24

Sorry - I have been disconnected …

This is a problem that must be fixed by DAC, as I argued in London. And for that purpose I have provided a first draft, and submitted it for initial discussions in WP-STAT asap. I will mail you a copy, and if you can advise me on how to share it with any reader of this thread I would be happy to do that as well.


Missing Aid Type Vocabulary?
(Herman van Loon) #25

Would be nice if the OECD/DAC Aid Typology would cover the Grand bargain requirements. The 2.03 addition of a new Aid Typology could than be depreciated in 3.01.

Sharing of this document can be done with Google Docs.


(Wendy Rogers) #26

Thank you @OJ_ and if you are able to post your proposals somewhere online you can then link to them in a post?

Also, in my most recent communications with the DAC they indicated that they that had asked the DAC members to position themselves on the better way to track cash-based operations. There was a general opposition to introduce another marker, so two choices were proposed :

  • A cash flag : The project has (value 1) or has not (value 0) a cash component. (because capturing all the subtleties of different cash modalities would require a more elaborated marker, for which there is no appetite)
  • A keyword : project with a cash component would use the world “cash” in the project description, which allows us to make a research by keyword.

For unrelated reasons the overall proposal was not accepted during the last WP-STAT? As a result, my understanding is that the proposal, will now follow a written procedure : the revised proposal will be sent out and DAC members will have 3 weeks to send objections. If there is no objections, the proposal will be accepted and the new codes, new cash flag/keyword will be operational for the 2018 data set, available end 2019?


(IATI Technical Team) #27

This proposal has been been included in the 2.03 upgrade. It can be viewed in the following two Discuss posts:


(IATI Technical Team) #28