Bright ideas for the TAG

How do we make the TAG an exciting forum for the exchange of ideas? What have you seen that works well in other conferences that we could copy and adapt?

I’ve just finished reading Russell’s ‘Open Standards in the Digital Age’ (fascinating book, much recommended), which discusses the governance structures of standards a lot - and I’m wondering to what extent it would be useful to explore some quite formalised parts of the TAG agenda, splitting quite clearly the ‘Knowledge Sharing’ track, from a ‘Consultation and Standardisation’ track - creating some clear and quite tightly structured spaces where people would be able to formally present proposals around either (a) standard updates; or (b) secondary standardisation (e.g. outputs of API working group etc.)

Whilst I would normally be the advocate for informal open space type sessions, from reading Russell’s discussion of various standards processes, I found myself being convinced of the idea that quite structured ‘performative’ spaces and processes of consultation on drafts may be needed:

  • To ensure everyone has the opportunity to speak up on the record, and promote more democratic rather than technocratic/ad-hoc standardisation;
  • To increase the weight given to decisions and discussions about particular aspects of the standards, particularly as they become more embedded and widely adopted;

Just some thoughts.

Thanks Tim, that’s an interesting suggestion.

We already have a twin-track approach - upgrades to the standard do go through a structured formal process involving substantive proposals and consultation.

Up until 2.01, that consultation has been in a separate space,at, but we now want to merge the two discussion spaces so that holds all of the discussions, both formal and informal. I agree that it is important to keep the two tracks distinct, even if they’re on the same discussion platform.

I think there should be a place where people that use or wants to use the IATI data to write down their scenario or use cases. I am quite sure there will be found solutions to problems or questions.

A library of real-world user stories would be brilliant, Dan. Maybe that could be used by people to develop products that actually meet user needs.

That’s a great idea!

If there are some guidelines on how to do these stories (eg lenght, things to include or not, etc) I’d be happy to share with colleagues and encourage them to prepare a scenario.

I liked the “speed dating” session last year, perhaps this can be done with a little more prep time to gather a dozen 5-minute stories?

Also, I thought Tim’s Capacity Building game at ODC14 brought to the surface some interesting observations on donor strategies and NGO responses around open data programmes. Perhaps a next iteration of that game, or an adaptation to include more trade-offs and issues in implementing IATI (or open data policies in a broader sense) makes sense?

How about running something like IATI Clinic or IATI Helpdesk where people who need to know more about IATI (it could be specific to some particular issue or a generic query) come and discuss with volunteers at the desk. We could have rotating round of volunteers spread throughout TAG. The help desk could then summarise queries and share it with larger audience at the end (or through email / website). I’m sure there will be lot of people, specially from partner countries who would find it very helpful !

Just to add to Bibhusan’s post, it might be a good idea to have a clinic dedicated to - Implementing Ver. 2.0

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Another topic I think it is interesting could be about localization:

  • are you using the location element? Do you find easy/difficult to use it?
  • should we improve the location element with “Pcodes” ?

I’d very much like to make sure that we talk about results data and what changes to the standard would be necessary to better capture these in an unambiguous and useful way.

Previous conversation on this topic:!topic/iati-technical/3oLPgyRfASs!topic/iati-technical/X2z9RtUgUwU!topic/iati-technical/IlU05TlGjHE

Two specific proposals from me:
Performance reporting in IATI
Towards an IATI Indicator Definition Schema

Look forward to meeting everyone in Ottawa!


I agree with bibhusan, there should be an IATI Helpdesk. to answer questions

This is a great idea, to have users stories on how they using, uploading the data .