Well… I was hoping others would take the dive and give it a go. But fine, Sweden will go first.
We have been struggling with this issue right off bat and have resorted to publishing independent activities that represent the unique combination of statistics per economic entity. Our general model is one contribution that can have one or more agreements that in turn can have one or more componets. In many cases this results in one activity. But to complicate things we:
- report the multiple country- and sector combinations from our CSO frame agreements with an allocation template. Resulting in every unique contribution/agreement/component/country/sector combination having its own activity (thus our sickening long IATI Id’s and plentitude of activities).
- In 2015 we changed to this model from previously having the model agreement/contribution/component/allocation template.
- We still use a combination of the two models when we have umbrella agreements with multilaterals.
- We have expanded our publications to a more detailed humanitarian division where crisis/cash/RRM etc. make up unique combinations.
- At some point we will probably want to publish loans and guarantees.
- Don’t even get me started on the SDG discussion and what impact it would have on the number of activities we would need to publish.
The point is, the information is more and more detailed, and obviously we need to find a new way of coding our activities and review the possibility of publishing the percentage distributions of at least sectors in our activities. But we also need to bring our information together to join related activities, otherwise our publications are full of “noise” instead of meaningful tones in a bigger harmony.
In the early days I tried representing this by using parents and children to represent information hierarchies, that is, information that was common for a larger group of activities was reported as a parent and didn’t have to be repeated for all activities. Given our old data model we published our agreement files where the agreement had hierarchy 1 and activity files where all activities under it had hierarchy 2, relating to the agreement. The idea was that the data user would be able to find all the activities that “belonged together”.
And back then I made the preposterous mistake of listing all activities under one agreement as sibling and related them into absurdum (my eternal apologies for this Bill and Steven). This meant that an agreement with a contribution where an allocation template was used, giving 100 unique country/sector combinations, was each of one of them related to 99 other activities.
We haven’t been publishing our agreements for a while and we just recently cleaned our activity files from the residue of this logic due to Marc B’s signal that it disrupted the reading of our data, the agreement data never seemed to be sought after, we’ve changed our model, and whatever was left in our files was causing confusion.
We do not intend to repeat this last mistake but having some sort of information hierarchy in our reporting still makes sense to us. And something definitely needs to be done to hold the related information together. Otherwise it makes no sense and isn’t transparent.
Given our present model, contribution would have hierarchy =1. But I am reluctant to go forward with this re-coding and I’m hoping for a more publisher harmonized solution. What makes sense for us to publish on this level may not be the same for another publisher who also has a contribution/component structure. I know I should have followed Amys threads closer, but I didn’t see any consensus there either.
All can’t fit the same form, but we don’t want the users to have to read 50 different manuals to understand each and every publisher’s data. And code thereafter. Which was evident when we looked at the data in the AIMS. But maybe have a set of information logics available and then the publisher can provide information which they we follow (the same way we announce which standard version we use).
Sorry for drowning this thread with such detail without any conclusions. Hoping somebody else will be a wizard and come up with a solution (that the rest of us can complain about )