IATI Vision and Mission

(Joni Hillman) #1




On behalf of the new Governing Board I am pleased to transmit the draft Vision and Mission (see attachment), developed by the interim Members Advisory Group and further refined by the new Governing Board. This work was carried out at the request of members during the final Steering Committee meeting in December 2015.

The Board now seeks feedback from members on this document. You are invited to share your comments on the attached document by 2nd June. The Secretariat will assist in compiling all feedback which will be used by the Board to develop their recommendations for members ahead of the Members’ Assembly meeting on 29-30 June.

IATI Vision and Mission Table 19 May 2016 - Member Consultation.docx (426.2 KB)

We are also seeking feedback on the draft Strategic Direction paper. Please visit this forum post to read the paper and share your thoughts.

IATI Strategic Direction
(theo.sande) #2

Many thanks for the kickoff. It made it much easier to come forward with suggestions and comments.
Related to the 2 options on Vision on IATI presented in the paper:
• Focus on “availability” or “use” of data.
The two are interrelated. The only relevant data are those that can be used. Data is a means, not a goal in itself.
• Reference to “cooperation” or “finance”.
IATI data as well as the standard are much broader than merely covering finances. We are not aiming for financial accountability with the datasets. Nor are we limiting our ambition to (traditional) development cooperation only. Instead broader reference to support to development is needed to describe IATIs vision.
• Nature of the development outcomes:
if we indeed have a broad ambition, development outcomes should remain unqualified. Linking to SDG (to whom we are all committed), it’s ok to link to that by inserting sustainable. Equitable, although of course sympathetic, creates too much confusion.
In short, my recommendation would be:
Promote and support the supply of relevant, timely and good quality information that enables stakeholders in achieving sustainable development in developing countries.

(theo.sande) #3

On the Mission of IATI, I have reworked the options presented in the paper in the following way:
The IATI network and its members work together to ensure that IATI data

  • is of high quality and will be delivered timely,
  • responds to the needs of stakeholders,
  • covers as much development support as possible,
  • can be used for the achievement of sustainable development outcomes,
  • is supported by effective data-analysis tools.

Particular issues arising from the paper are:

  • sometimes the wording is too strong (all) and the stress, again, too much on finances
  • one of our strongholds is that the IATI community is much broader then only members and publishers. It also includes non-members publishers and many, many individuals and organisations highly committed to transparency and the standard, though not publishers or members. We should cherish them and acknowledge their contributions.

(Asor Henry Nkang) #4

Many thanks for sharing the draft IATI Vision and Mission statements respectively.
The suggestion I have on statement 1 is: cooperation/finance should read **cooperation/resources.**My reason is considering the fact that aid resources could come in various ways such as : financial, in-kind, technical cooperation, capacity development, etc.
Still on statement 1, I will like to suggest that the last line should be; effort to achieve sustainable development outcomes.

Henry Asor

(Asor Henry Nkang) #5

On the IATI Mission statement, I will like to suggest that the second line of statement 2 should capture humanitarian finance, so the statement should read thus: “covers as much development**/humanitarian** finance as possible”

(Mahmoud Farag) #6

Dear All,

I hereby outline the position of the INGO Accountability Charter on the suggested IATI’s vision and mission.

General Observations:

  • The Charter is glad, as an IATI member, to be provided the opportunity to contribute to shaping IATI’s vision and mission since transparency is very fundamental to accountability. We think that IATI needs to get its members to focus beyond just publishing data (i.e. business as usual and more on usage of data which will require them to be timely and user-friendly.
  • The emerging focus on usage of date resonates with the directions of the Global Standard for CSO Accountability, to which the Charter is a project partner, to collect feedback from stakeholders which can be partly based on what information is available. This would mean that the degree of transparency does not depend on how much you publish but should rather on how the data published is used by stakeholders (especially communities) to hold IATI members to account.

Preferences on IATI’s Vision:

  • For the vision, we think option 2 is better as it focuses on usage not availability of information. It says: ‘Transparent, timely information on development cooperation/finance is used by all stakeholders to help achieve equitable and sustainable development outcomes.’
  • We also think it is better to refer to the term development finance rather than development cooperation. The former is broader and will encourage IATI Members to disclose information on their funding not necessarily contributed by development cooperation. This can help increase transparency of IATI Members and can make transparency the norm rather than the exception.
  • Reference to equitable and sustainable development is better as it is resonates well with the SDGs and Goal 16. As you know, it is not only about access to education for example but about making this accesses equitable and sustainable.

Preferences on IATI’s Mission:

  • For the mission, option 3 is the most relevant as it focuses on usage of data and available tools in addition to mentioning compatibility with other sources of data – which can mean the Charter. This we believe can pave the ground for achieving the vision. It reads: ‘The IATI community strives to ensure that development stakeholders can use IATI data of high quality, timely and compatible with other relevant data, as well as effective data-analysis tools, to support the achievement of equitable and sustainable development outcomes.’
  • We think reference to IATI community in general is better to empower the TAG and other stakeholders to have a say.
  • Similar to the vision, reference to equitable and sustainable development is better as it is resonates well with the SDGs and Goal 16. As you know, it is not only about access to education for example but about making this accesses equitable and sustainable.

Best Regards,

Mahmoud Farag

Programme Officer,
INGO Accountability Charter

(Joseph Asunka) #7

I also endorse #2 for the vision as others have already noted. I think it is important to place some emphasis on data use not just availability. IATI data needs to be useful and actually used for development policy and planning . Donors, NGOs and others who publish to the standard may be less motivated to commit time and resources to publishing to IATI if the information is not contributing to development policy and development outcomes at the country level. Donors can potentially demonstrate transparency in other related ways; the value addition from IATI is the possibility that transparent, user-friendly aid data would promote participatory development policy planning and hence some desirable development outcomes.

Regarding the qualification of development, I lean towards not adding any qualification. “… to achieve development objectives” OR if there should be any qualification at all, perhaps use improve? “… to help improve development outcomes”. I believe IATI data would be helpful for participatory development policy planning in ways that would lead (hopefully) to improvements in development outcomes. It feels too much of a stretch to emphasize equity and sustainability in the vision statement. We should be pragmatic about our aspirations.

Finally, I prefer development finance simply because it is a much broader term.

Option #1 is simple, straightforward and captures the essence of the standard and so my vote is for #1 without qualifying development. This option also sits very well with the vision.

Joseph Asunka
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

(Jia ZHU) #8

After internal discussion, the team at UNIDO has the following comment:
On Vision:

  1. In our opinion, Option 2 is more close to the IATI vision because it emphasizes the actual usage of the data, instead of just the availability
  2. Between “Development cooperation” and “Development finance”, by the definition provided Finance would be more accurate, but we also think “Resource” would be a better overall term, as pointed out by Henry Asor
  3. The development outcome should be qualified

On mission statement:

  1. We would select Option 2 because again, it emphasizes not only the availability but also the usage of the data
  2. We feel that the term “IATI community” is more adequate than “IATI members”
  3. The development outcome should be qualified by “Equitable and sustainable”, because we feel that this strongly underlines UNIDO’s mandate of “Inclusive and Sustainable Development”.

Jia Zhu

(Harpinder Collacott) #9

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the MA this June but would like to send my comments to inform discussions at the meeting. I would also like to flag one important issue not mentioned in the papers and which I think should not be forgotten – we need to have a clear fundraising target for the next two year for IATI to keep the show on the road as we undergo transition. I would be keen to see more discussion on how we can increase funding for the short term too alongside discussions about the future financing model for IATI. If we fail to secure enough resources to drive changes we are agreeing at the meeting, IATI will suffer for the long term. It is not an option to financially limp through the next two years on a shoe string budget hoping there will be change around the corner.

Vision and Mission

I would like to see the vision statement actually being more visionary – it is aspirational after all and needs to create a sense of big ambition. In both options 1 and 2, I think the focus is too narrow on development cooperation / finance and not ambitious enough. The SDG agenda and financing discussions have already moved away from only talking about development cooperation, the future is about all finance.

A vision needs to have a high level of ambition so that IATI remains relevant for the longer term – at the moment both these Vision statements are less ambitious than option 2 of the Mission statement. IATI already captures data beyond development cooperation and restricting our focus to traditional flows will mean we are not ‘future proofed’ in a rapidly changing environment. I don’t think that the term ‘development finance’ really reflects what we are trying to achieve either; I would rather go back to a broader phrase, such as ‘all resources for development’ or ‘all international resources for development’, which is what I thought we had all agreed at the December SC meeting.

I like option 2 the most but I think we should amend ‘IATI members’ to ‘the IATI community’ to reflect the broad range of organisations and individuals who are involved in IATI – the membership alone cannot do everything and we should recognise and value the contribution of others, particularly in feeding back on data quality and striving to increase data use.

(Kimberly Smith) #10

IATI Vision

The U.S. prefers option 1 with the following edits:

  1. Information on development cooperation is transparent, relevant, timely and available and accessible to all stakeholders to encourage use in support of efforts to achieve development objectives.

Manageable interest of IATI should be taken into account when discussing data use. Option 2 is too broad and would require expanded scope.

We do not agree that development cooperation implies a concessional dimension. In fact, we believe that “development cooperation” is broader than development finance, as it includes technical cooperation, transfer of goods and services, commodities, guarantees, etc.

We prefer not to qualify the nature of development outcomes. We could live with the term sustainable, but not equitable.

IATI Mission
We prefer open 3, with the words “equitable and sustainable” deleted.

(Talia Melic) #11

IATI vision

• Australia’s preference would be either option 2 (focusing on use of data), which is critical for development outcomes, OR if possible, a combination of options 1 and 2 (i.e. that data is available and used), as both are critical and capture IATI’s main functions.
o We would welcome further information on how the use of data would be assessed (e.g. would this place a greater burden on recipients and/or on donor reporting?)

• We suggest the vision refers to development finance rather than cooperation, as this term is more useful for development partners and leaves more space open for new providers to choose to publish data on development flows. It is also more consistent with language used in other spaces (e.g. OECD DAC).
o However, we urge IATI to stay within its mandate, and avoid an overly-broad interpretation of development finance (e.g. it should not include FDI and DRM).

• While the qualified nature of development outcomes (equitable and sustainable) places the vision more explicitly within the framework of the 2030 agenda, which Australia feels is important, it is unclear to us how this would be measured or verified. It might be good to have more clarity on whether this vision remains aspirational or is something that we would seek to evaluate at some point.

IATI mission

• Australia prefers option two as it encourages IATI members to use the data and for development provider members to outreach to partners to promote use; and it ensures that the data actually promotes development effectiveness objectives – i.e. the data is both useful and used.

However, we suggest deleting the clause: “covers as much development finance as possible” so that this will read as it is redundant: to respond to the needs of all stakeholders, the data will need to be as comprehensive as possible; it is also quite vague.

• Concerning the main agent, Australia thinks it makes most sense for this mission to be undertaken on the part of IATI members, as it is members who will ultimately agree on the mission.

• Concerning whether development outcomes should be qualified, we have the same query as above – how would anyone measure/evaluate whether this mission has been achieved?

(Erin Bautista) #12

• As others have noted, the usability and use of IATI data is essential to its value, but the availability of information is the first step. As such, I would recommend a combination of Options 1 and 2.
• Regarding the focus on cooperation or finance, I favor the use of a broader term that isn’t limited to concessional resources. However, the term finance doesn’t seem to fully capture the range of information available through IATI (e.g., project results), so perhaps the word “projects” could be added as well.
• Regarding qualifying the outcomes, I would suggest maintaining the use of the term sustainable to draw an association with the SDGs, but removing the word equitable in order to keep the vision statement focused/succinct.
• To keep the vision statement succinct and inspirational, I would also suggest using a more general qualifier, such as valuable, regarding the type of information and including the more detailed list of qualifiers as part of the mission so that “valuable” can be understood to mean high-quality, timely, relevant to stakeholder needs, compatible with other data standards, etc.

Given these considerations, a revised proposal is below:
• Valuable information on development finance and projects is available and widely used to help achieve sustainable development outcomes.


In order to achieve the vision of data use, the mission should include specifics regarding how this will be promoted. As such, I would favor a modified version of Option 3 as below.

The IATI community strives to ensure that IATI data meets stakeholder needs in terms of quality, timeliness, relevance, and compatibility and promotes its use through user-friendly data analysis and visualization tools in order to support the achievement of sustainable development outcomes.

Erin Bautista
Inter-American Development Bank

(Annelise Parr) #13

Comments received from Ann-Kristin Solas and posted on behalf of BMZ

Comments on IATI Vision
We believe IATI’s vision has to build on the original goal of IATI to make quality data of development cooperation/finance available for all stakeholders and therefore we support option 1 with small adjustments to the wording as proposed below. BMZ shares the view that the use of data is of critical importance in this context. Nevertheless we believe that IATI should concentrate on a focused and realistic mandate where the community can make the biggest contribution – from our perspective this contribution lies in the support of global efforts to make quality information and data of all development cooperation (including all types of finance) open and accessible for everyone . The increased use of data lies in the responsibility of each stakeholder.

Proposed formulation for the vision:
Relevant, timely and good quality information on development cooperation including technical assistance and all financial resources for development is available and accessible for all stakeholders to help achieve sustainable development objectives.

Comments on IATI Mission
Drawing on our comments regarding IATI’s vision we believe that all three options contain important elements for the final formulation of IATI’s mission. Option 2 however, again, focuses too heavily on the actual use of data. IATI’s mission should rather concentrate on improving the quality of data including the increase of comprehensiveness of data provided by the different stakeholders. Regarding the main agents in the mission it seems important to highlight the importance of effective interaction between IATI members and the broader IATI community in order to reach the strategic goals of IATI. Hence, we would suggest the following formulation of IATI’s mission:

IATI members and the broader IATI community work together to increase transparency in development cooperation by promoting and supporting the publication of high quality, timely and relevant data for all stakeholders to support the achievement of development objectives.

(Frank Wissing Madsen) #14

The World Bank finds that there is a real risk that IATI could lose momentum and support if the use of IATI data does not increase considerable over the next few years. We therefore think that IATI over the next 2-3 years IATI should be focused on consolidating IATI’s considerable achievements and increasing the use of published data, rather than innovation or expansion to a broader range of development finance. Our comments to Vision, Mission and Strategic direction reflects this overall concern.

Comments to Draft IATI vision statements

With the understanding that the vision has a longer timespan than the immediate 2016-18 strategic vision, we would propose a slightly revised version of statement 2:

Information on development finance is transparent, relevant, timely and used by stakeholders to help achieve equitable and sustainable development outcomes.

Comments to Draft IATI Mission statements

We would propose a mix of statement 1 and statement 2:

IATI members work together to ensure that information on development cooperation is transparent, relevant, timely, responds to the need of stakeholders, and used to help achieve equitable and sustainable development outcomes.

(Annelise Parr) #15

CSO and other comments on IATI mission, vision (received before the Monday 6th deadline and posted by the Secretariat on behalf of CSOs)

Summary of comments

Vision 1 respondent preferred version 1
_ 5 respondents preferred version 2_

Mission 5 respondents preferred version 2
_ 1 did not give an opinion_

Detailed comments on IATI Vision and Mission

  1. I reviewed the vision, mission, and strategy. I have a strong preference for version 2 of the vision with its focus on use. Slight preference for cooperation over finance. Generally I like the focus on use in the mission and strategic direction, as I think it provides a better compass for guiding decisions - Who is the user? What does the user want?

  2. Vision: I’m supportive of the option 2 : in fact , concerning the Data: the main concerns in Copenhagen in december last year were about the use and quality of data.It has been stipulated that While IATI has done well overall in increasing the supply side, i.e. the number and breadth of publishers, the demand side, i.e. use of IATI data, particularly from partner countries, has been given less priority until now. The evaluation finds that a strong consensus has now emerged that the use of IATI data must now become IATI’s most important programmatic priority.

However, it’s obvious that you cannot use something which is not available: there are still some fears remaining on the availability of data as from the lessons learned, there is a difference between the multilateral and the bilateral providers; it’s easier to get access to data from the multilateral donors that from the bilateral.

Mission: My support goes to option 2 which addresses what IATI is accountable for , data of high quality, timely, compatible, responding to the needs ,is inclusive of development finance and promotes equitable and sustainable development outcomes. The document should say ‘IATI Members’, and option 2 should add ‘equitable’ to development outcomes

  1. My preference is for option 2 for the Vision and Mission statement.

  2. I’m supportive of the Option 1 as IATI Vision statement: Because more than 100 development organizations now publish data through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) but there is still much more to do – both in terms of increasing the number of publishers and improving data quality. While IATI has reached critical mass in terms of membership and growth in publishers and has made progress, the message is clear – it is now important to improve the quality of data and ensure that it can be used to add value at country level. Donors are making good progress in publishing data through IATI. The recent evaluation, however, found that a major obstacle to using IATI data is that it does not yet fully meet the needs of users, the data requires further improvement in terms of quality, coverage and scope before it can be used in planning and budgeting processes.
    The key to the sustainability of IATI lies in recipient countries’ willingness to use the data in their day-to-day aid management. There is no greater incentive for donors to publish high-quality IATI data than seeing their data is being used in public reports, coordination and planning. This means IATI’s role is evolving from its early focus of encouraging donors to publish IATI data, towards greater concentration on data quality.
    However, a clear message from civil society is that aid is not delivering for poor people. Much aid is still tied and unpredictable, and there is limited use of country systems. How can there be real ownership and accountability in this situation?
    Positively good data result in better decision because based on reliable data easily duty bearers will be able to take the decision specifically on what purpose should get priority, how much budget allocation is needed for what and how it will be monitored etc. What type of Aid is needed, why needed and how much Aid is needed and also the conditionality if any is it accepted by the country or not that type of data need to strengthen planning, budgeting and execution.

My support goes to for option -2 as IATI Mission statement:
As we know that transparency, accountability and participation are an in general challenges and constrains in implementing any plan that is positive and IATI mission statement support ensuring the data responds to the needs of all stakeholders, covers as much development finance as possible, and is actually used.
Mutual accountability demands mutual respect and a feeling of moral responsibility among actors to be accountable to each other. This is necessary to overcome the unequal power relations that exist between development actors and to ensure that accountability is meaningful and not merely a technical process.
Independent evidence and analysis, comprehensive data or other essential elements will strengthen mutual accountability. Partners country government need access to reliable aid information in order to ensure effective planning, implementation and accounting process, strengthen national ownership of aid and increase transparency and accountability. At the most basic level government need to ensure that donors are delivering on the pledges they have made on the both aid quantity and quality.
Better Aid data easily can facilitate to strengthen domestic accountability because mutual accountability is advocated as a way to improve aid effectiveness. It means that the actors involved in development processes should be accountable to each other and take joint responsibility for the management, implementation and impact of aid.
There are large numbers of actors and practical challenges, including insecurity, corruption, poor governance and a lack of capacity and resources that are all impeding mutual accountability. Mutual accountability demands mutual respect and a feeling of moral responsibility among actors to be accountable to each other. This is necessary to overcome the unequal power relations that exist between development actors and to ensure that accountability is meaningful and not merely a technical process.
CSOs in both donor and partner countries need access to aid information in order to (i) assist public expenditure tracking; (ii) promote and advocate pro-poor policies; (iii) improve harmonization, good planning and monitoring of resources; (iv) identify actual inflows; and (v) improve local level monitoring of programs.
Partner country parliamentarians need access to aid information in order to (i) scrutinize aid agreements and governments’ budget proposals; and (ii) hold governments to account against stated commitments to aid quantity and aid quality.
Donors have an interest in providing reliable aid information in order to (i) inform their own decisions in the interest of avoiding duplication and increasing both coordination and harmonization; (ii) accurately measure the results of their assistance; and (iii) demonstrate the positive impact of their aid interventions in their own countries.

  1. Vision - I prefer this option (option 2) as I think that it is important to be results focussed so that reflection on the contribution of IATI towards global justice is encouraged, rather than just measurement of the amount of information that is made available.

Mission - I support option 2. I think that even though it doesn’t mention data-analysis tools, it is the most challenging. I don’t think that the tools should necessarily be IATI’s responsibility, and there is enough already happening on that score.

  1. InterAction comments
    • Have a strong preference for Option 2, which emphasizes the very reason for IATI’s being. The first option is much more passive and, as a guiding light, would not do much to advance and evolve the initiative. As my colleague put it, “we know that simply publishing information will not lead to the development outcomes most members are interested in. The second option takes into account understanding data user needs and how data needs are constantly changing.”
    • In terms of cooperation vs. finance, I am leaning towards finance, as that is more in line with the direction endorsed at the last Members Assembly meeting. An alternative would be to say: “Transparent, timely information on resources for development is used by all stakeholders to help achieve equitable and sustainable development outcomes.”
    • I am fine with outcomes being qualified, but do not think this is where we need to spend time debating.

• I am leaning towards Option 2, but would like to see it simplified. At the moment it reads a bit like a laundry list:
o “IATI data is of high quality, timely, compatible, responds to the needs of all stakeholders, covers as much development finance as possible” → “IATI data is of high quality, timely, relevant and comprehensive”
o I know (or think) the word “compatible” has been added to highlight the importance of interoperability, but it’s seems very odd and few people - especially those new to IATI - would understand why it’s there.
• Members vs. community: Though we should define the special responsibilities of IATI members specifically (e.g., raise awareness of IATI within your own organization), the mission should refer to the community more broadly. The community’s efforts are vital to IATI’s success and this should be recognized.
• Possible alternate language: “IATI members publish high quality, timely, relevant and comprehensive data, and work with the IATI community to promote the use of that data to achieve equitable and sustainable development outcomes.”