IATI Data use at country level: Discussions on aid transparency in Uganda

(Wilbrod Ntawiha) #1

Recently, we held a Breakfast meeting with a vibrant aid transparency community at National level in Uganda consisting of representatives from government, country donors, CSOs, media and academia. This was to present a draft paper on: “Aid transparency data ecosystem in Uganda”.

We discussed aid data usage, sources and issues at country level. Issues identified include:

  1. Need to have the Aid Management Platform joined up with IATI (IATI automatic import)
  2. Lack of a culture of data use
  3. Issues with data: Double counting, Verification contacts (proper feedback system) and need for detailed loans/debt data
  4. Inactive data revolution and aid transparency community at national level
  5. Donors are not encouraging their grantees to publish, especially results.
  6. Potential for statistics body (UBOS) to authenticate IATI as official source

We would love to hear from you on IATI data use at the country level, and on the “Aid transparency data ecosystem in Uganda” paper here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3WngmdQt3steENlYWdTekhfTlE/view?usp=sharing

(Joshua Powell) #2

Thanks for sharing this paper. I wanted to point out a few things that I feel should be incorporated into the text to ensure accuracy and completeness.

  1. It would be helpful to note that, in many countries, AMP has already been integrated with IATI data (see our report here for more details: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2016/06/28/use-iati-final-report/) and that there is a free and open source tool specifically for integrating AMP (and other AIMS) with IATI: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2016/03/31/launch-iati-import-tool/ - in fact, the Uganda AMP team was just recently trained on the use of this tool. This tool was also repurposed for the recent integration of UAMP with DMFAS in Uganda: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2017/02/23/uganda-dfmas/.

  2. I am curious as to the measures used to determine that IATI data are more disaggregated than AMP (in particular as the disaggregation measures used in the table above this comment show comparability between IATI and AMP data)

  3. Comparing the number of projects within IATI and AMP may not be a useful exercise, as IATI often contains multiple representations of the same project (e.g. NGOs may report on a project they are implementing for World Bank, who may have received funding from 5 bilaterals, resulting in 7 records for one project).

  4. In general, it seems that a more in-depth analysis of data quality (see for example our blog on this topic here: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/03/17/iati-and-country-systems-data-evaluation-methodology/) would be welcomed. It is important to ensure that using IATI adds value (we firmly believe that it can/does), and in which DPs/cases it does so, before calling for a wholesale shift to: “The starting point should be to implement IATI-AMP automatic data import; then join AMP with other local systems such as budgets.” It is important that decisions like these also take into account i) the needs of the government (as the primary users of AIMS), and ii) a detailed analysis of data quality and tradeoffs.

(Reid Porter) #3

This is great, Wilbrod. My colleague David and I did a similar (slightly less formal) exercise in Dar Es Salaam for the Open Ag Funding project to inform our IATI tool development and user needs documentation at the country-level. Most of our interviews took place at the 3rd Annual Agriculture Policy Conference.

Top of mind, I think these stories were key (slightly paraphrased):

  • NGO-sector representative: “The farmers associations did not often go to their ministers and local officials until they had data and evidence, but once they had this, they felt very strong to speak to the ministers and said ‘If you are not going to do X, Y, and Z in our district this season, then do not come to our offices.’”
  • NGO program officers: “It would be very helpful to know who is doing what as we are a new program and still taking in the landscape. We have paid [a consultant firm] to do this analysis for us, as have many others. It would be good to know and have data because it is very expensive.”
  • Donor staff: “I want to see all of our projects and other donors projects on a map showing where they are spending money and how much. Sure, we can discuss this and coordinate at the [donor’s coordination working group] but that’s only 2 hours once a month, and it’s usually just ‘We’re doing a $10m project on cashew nuts in this area.’”

Reading your user stories from Uganda, it’s interesting how different the open data/transparency culture and awareness varies between neighbors, though that difference may have been due to our sector-specific focus (ag) where private investment is much more plentiful and top of mind to the community we spoke with. David Duffeck (who will be at the meeting next week) would be able to say more comparatively as he has spoken with people in both countries over the last month.

See you soon! Would like to discuss more once I get all my interview news assimilated:)