Every couple of months I host a session about “Using IATI data” with staff from the European Commission. It’s very interesting to meet people who need data, and we get through a lot in the three hours. It also includes a “d-portal quiz” (thanks to @amys for that idea - I’ll detail that in another thread)!
During the session, people get familiar with the concepts of IATI, and start to use the data. d-portal is very useful, but we do also check other sites such as devtracker and open SIDA, plus pull spreadsheets out of the datastore, and even talk about IATI feeds into AIMS and FTS.
At some point in every session a participant will stop, reflect and then say something like:
- “hold on, if IATI is about different flows, and some of those are related, how do we avoid double counting?”
I’ll usually then reply with something like:
- “yes, good point! Well, the idea is that as activities are linked together by different publishers, data users will know not to add them together”
Sometimes I explain this in a hopeful way. At other times I find I’m more assertive. At no times am I 100% confident!
Sometimes people accept this. Other times, there’s more questioning. We often start to explore the model of publishing IATI, and that it doesn’t help us to consider it as a single database we sum together. In all cases, it’s a rewarding conversation, albeit conceptually challenging (for me!)
With this in mind, I wanted to ask the brilliant people out there in our community: how do you describe double counting & IATI?
Have you a way of explaining it that works? Do you have slides? Have you used props? All ideas and experiences are gratefully accepted!
Lastly - please please please: let’s not defeat ourselves in this thread by trying to build or discuss a technical solution for double counting! It’s a thing, and will be with us for a while. What I’m specifically interested in is how we can explain (in words, pictures and hand gestures)it to others, as I think many of us have had to do this…