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
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?
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
My preference is for option 2 for the Vision and Mission statement.
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.
- 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.
- 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.”