IATI Coverage ; timing and scope of next update?

(Steven Flower) #1

Hello @IATI-techteam , @bill_anderson

Is there a timescale for the next update of the Coverage statistics?

Additionally, since coverage data was last calculated, and the reference data collected, many more organisations will have published. It seems they get a default score, despite reference data being missing. Is there a plan to extend to all published organisations?

(Steven Flower) #2

Hi @IATI-techteam - any news on this?

I think coverage data (humanitarian spend for 2016 & 2017) is proposed to be collected for the Grand Bargain - it would be useful to know how this relates.

(Steven Flower) #3

Any news on this @IATI-techteam ?

(Steven Flower) #4

ping @IATI-techteam @bill_anderson

(Steven Flower) #5

@bill_anderson is this spam?

(Bill Anderson) #6

With the <total-expenditure> element now in place in the organisation standard we need (as planned) to establish a self-reporting mechanism to:

  • Produce guidance and communicate with publishers for them to self-report their organisations total expenditure. (This can then be used to compare against total disbursements and expnditure published to IATI.)
  • Agree on a mechanism to check the accuracy of the reported data.
  • Update the dashboard methodology

This is in our job queue but we don’t currently have an ETA. Will keep you posted.

(Steven Flower) #7

Using open data publish with the IATI standard sounds like a good step

For total-expenditure there seem to be 45 publishers currently using that

It would be useful to understand the scope that the current data enables. Of the 45, only a few publish this element multiple times, for example

I’m sure someone like @andylolz or @markbrough could take a look…

(Michelle Levesque) #8

Coverage came up at MA so having a way to measure it correctly and more timely is needed. If I’m understanding this correctly the use of the “total expenditure” element in the organizational file is what is proposed. I’d like to point out that for the GB dashboard that will only work if there is a breakdown of the total expenditure by humanitarian and non-humanitarian categories is possible. It would be misleading to measure humanitarian coverage for the GB dashboard against total expenditure for any organization whose total expenditure is a combination of humanitarian, development and other/administrative activity.

(Steven Flower) #9

Thanks @Michelle_IOM

I agree that the subset of total expenditure is what the GB dashboard uses. But - I would suggest that this has noting to do with IATI!

Of course, the GB dashboard uses IATI data and much of the methodology deployed in the IATI dashboard. However, I think it important to establish this is a independent operation.

I would be concerned that we start to enter into discussion around changes to the IATI standard (adding of total-humanitarian-spend, for example) to accommodate such use cases.

I appreciate that that doesn’t sound very helpful :slight_smile:

(I think the GB team at DI have asked for the humanitarian spend figures from GB signatories directly --> @Wendy)

@bill_anderson do you know when we would know more about this?

(Michelle Levesque) #10


I agree with your point about not trying to satisfy GB use case particularly as even the basic IATI dashboard hasn’t addressed coverage in a couple of years and cracking that nut is important. I would still point out that “total expenditure”, if not well defined or understood, could still be very misleading as a denominator in the coverage calculation. Total expenditure for an organization often includes expenditures never intended to be part of IATI publishing (administrative, normative) so without clarity or sub-elements, attributes (I don’t know the correct way to slice that) it may still lead to misleading results.

And just and FYI: the GB dashboard has not yet captured coverage at all. I have no idea if/when this will be addressed in the narrow context of the GB but we all score zero so it is a level playing field for the moment.

(Steven Flower) #11

Thanks @Michelle_IOM

The IATI documentation states:

The recommendation is that, where and when possible, the organisation’s total annual planned budget for each of the next three years is reported.

It’ll be interesting to see if there are any ranges around this definition, as you (rightly) anticipate. Once we’ve got some data in place, it could then be time to review.

A (hopefully interesting!) added bonus with the organisation standard, is that there is the ability to include a/multiple “line item” within any of the financial elements, including total-expenditure (known as expense-line). This might be what you’re thinking about / looking for, in terms of answering the question “what part of the total expenditure was on humanitarian?”…?

I can see that 15 publishers currently use expense-line in total-expenditure, so it’d be interesting if someone (or something) were to analyse this …

(Michelle Levesque) #12

IOM is one of those 15 publishers. We do include line-item info all of which ties to our audited financials. Our data doesn’t reference or even isolate humanitarian from development but it is something we could do if/when coverage statistics want to pull from the org file.

(Yohanna Loucheur) #13

@IATI-techteam, the link from this Dashboard total-expenditure element to the Standard page (presumably describing the element) returns a 404 error.

(Andy Lulham) #14

@YohannaLoucheur: fixed here.

(Steven Flower) #15

@bill_anderson any updates on this? The number of publishers without (2014) coverage reference data now far exceeds those with. The knock on is that the coverage-adjusted score is calculated with the arbitrary 20% for many many publishers. This just looks strange, particularly to those new to IATI.

(IATI Technical Team) #16

The IATI technical team did a manual collection of reference spend for 2014 and 2015 from all IATI publishers two years ago. The process involved emailing publishers, collecting data manually and storing in a public Google sheet. This is not a sustainable method for collecting coverage data and the IATI tech team has not done reference spend collection for any new IATI publishers over the past two years. This means that the coverage data and then coverage-adjusted scores on the Summary Statistics are not up to date for all IATI publishers.

As a result, the current plan is to remove the coverage and coverage-adjusted columns from the Summary Statistics page on the Dashboard, keeping the coverage page only for reference, until the process for collecting reference spend is automated and up to date. In the meantime, we strongly encourage that all IATI publishers include in their organisation file total-expenditure.

(Michelle Levesque) #17

How about putting a statistic about which publisher includes total expenditure in the org file on the statistics page? It would highlight whose coverage could theoretically could be calculated (as imperfect as it may be) and may provide an incentive for others to include that data in their org files so we get closer to actually having an automated way of calculating coverage. Assuming people still agree that coverage is important.

(Petya Kangalova) #18

Thanks for the comments and ideas @Michelle_IOM
We will be emailing all IATI publishers next week to inform them about the planned changes of removing coverage-adjusted score and would strongly encouraged all to use total-expenditure in their organisation file.

On including total-expenditure in the summary statistics methodology, we don’t have an ETA yet for when that will be incorporated in the publisher statistics, but would keep in mind the idea about highlighting publishers that have already included total-expenditure in their file.

(Steven Flower) #19

Thanks @petyakangalova

Have publishers been emailed?

I assume that the methodology to use the total-expenditure would run (at least) a year “behind”. For example:

  • In 2018, coverage data would be based on 2016 expenditure
  • In 2019, coverage data would be based on 2017 expenditure
  • In 2020, coverage data would be based on 2019 expenditure

Because - it seems unrealistic for publishers to have their total-expenditure published (and all their activity data, on the 1st January each year. For many, getting this data together might take a few months. Therefore, it would seem the IATI dashboard methodology would need to accommodate this, in line with regular financial process & timescales.

Great to see this move forward, nevertheless. Thanks.

(Yohanna Loucheur) #20

(At least some) publishers have been emailed, yes.

The core message is as follows:
"In the future we plan to compare the value of the element published in your organisation file with the calculated total spend (expenditure + disbursements) for a given year published in your activity files.

To prepare for this please ensure you are publishing an organisation file which contains the element for at least all years that you have been publishing to IATI."

I’m not sure I understand this last part: “for at least all the years that you have been publishing to IATI”. This seems like a fairly tall order, and not necessarily a very useful one for publishers who have (very partial) data going back over many years.

I assume coverage will be assessed for recent years (probably a year behind, as suggested by Steven). Could the Tech Team confirm what is the proposed approach?