[Implemented as bug fix] ActivityStatus codes - mixup of descriptions for codes 3 & 4?


(Andy Lulham) #50

There’s now agreement on resolving this as a bugfix, by swapping the descriptions for codes 3 & 4. Please refer to the following post:


(Michelle Levesque) #51

I understand this is now in the job queue but can someone help me understand when this change is going to take place? We have custom scripts written in our accounting system to assign the codes based on dates and system status. We will need to adjust the script when the definitions change.

Kind Regards,
Michelle


(Yohanna Loucheur) #52

Michelle, if you are assigning proper codes to projects, you probably won’t have to change the script. The codes won’t change.

If you were assigning codes based on the definitions instead of the names, then your projects are miscoded & I’d recommend changing the script as soon as possible. No need to wait for the bug to be fixed since the codes are not changing.


(Michelle Levesque) #53

@YohannaLoucheur

We assigned codes based on our understanding of the definitions assigned to the codes. I’m still confused now as to what is going to change.

Can someone confirm if I have this correct?

Currently:
3 - completion - physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made
4 - post-completion - same as above BUT the activity remains open pending financial sing off or M&E.

Change will be:
3 - post-completion - physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made BUT the activity remains open pending financial sing off or M&E.
4 - completion - physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made

That sounds strange to me but I sure wasn’t around when all of this was initially discussed. If 3 (three) is really supposed to be something between implementation and completion then wouldn’t it be better to call it post-implementation rather than post-completion?

Happy to discuss this next week at TAG but we go to publish a new set of data the week after so I’d love to make sure we have our scripts right before that.

Sorry if I’m just making a mess of this but, well, consider me a great example on how newbies get lost in all this documentation.

Kind Regards,
Michelle


(Yohanna Loucheur) #54

Hi Michelle

Ha, that’s where the confusion lies! You misunderstood the issue: the names and definitions are mismatched, not the codes and names.

The change will be:
3 - completion - physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made BUT the activity remains open pending financial sign-off or M&E
4 - post-completion - physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made

(Sorry, it’s IATI jargon: “completion” describes the state of the activities on the ground, from the point of view of stakeholders / beneficiaries. The project looks like it’s completed on the ground, even though stuff remains to be done on the admin side. “Post-completion” is the real end, nothing remains to tidy up. A project can go from Implementation straight to Post-Completion if everything ends at the same time.

Don’t shoot the messenger, I didn’t come up with these terms :slight_smile: )


(Herman van Loon) #55

@YohannaLoucheur Yes, I think this change in the description of the status nails it.


(Michelle Levesque) #56

@YohannaLoucheur
Thanks for your patience.

Change will be:
3-Completion = physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made BUT the activity remains open pending financial sign off or M&E
4 - post-completion = physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made (and no more financial sign off or M&E - all is done, done,done)

I can get my head around that. No need to shoot anyone. On the contrary I may owe you a drink in Kathmandu.

Merci,
Michelle


(Bill Anderson) #57

Before @IATI-techteam implements this can we have final agreement on the wording. We have agreement on the logic (i.e. 3 comes before 4) but there are differing opinions on naming and the description for 4. Can I propose:

3 - Finalisation
Physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made, but the activity remains open pending financial sign off or M&E

4 - Closed
Physical activity, financial sign-off and/or M&E are complete.

re: the description for 4 - I would assume physical activity and financial sign-off are necessary conditions, but M&E could go on for years after an activity has been closed, right?


(Yohanna Loucheur) #58

Everything including M&E must be finished before the activity is closed. Yes, it can go on for a while (years even).
There’s a logic there: if M&E is not finished, then further expenses are likely (to pay the M&E work) so the activity remains in finalization status.


(Michelle Levesque) #59

Dare I suggest that rather than calling it completion and post-completion the order be called

1- pipeline
2 - implementation
3 - post-implementation
4 - completion

Completion, in my head, is that everything is complete and yet that isn’t what we have. We have post-completion which really means the activity itself is physically done but there is paperwork/admin/finance/M&E to do.

Now I have no idea if this is a minor, major or bug or ??? but from a non-tech perspective this makes more sense in terms of descriptions and order of things.

Just a suggestion.
Michelle


(Bill Anderson) #60

I like ‘post-implementation’


(Yohanna Loucheur) #61

We already had ‘finalization’ and ‘closed’ proposed to replace “completion” and “post-completion”. I would prefer that option to avoid entirely the use of "post’ - I’m concerned it could create confusion (given there was already a ‘post’-something).

Also, for the record I want to flag that Michelle’s latest response incorrectly describes 'post-completion". Post-completion is the final stage, when everything is done, NOT the penultimate stage when some admin/M&E remains to be done.


(Michelle Levesque) #62

My post was not indicating what “completion” means but rather how it can be so easily confused as completion by normal (non-iati) definitions is that something is complete with nothing more to do. For IATI it only refers to the physical activity being complete but we all know there is “stuff” to do afterwards hence the use of 'post-completion".

The fact that this discussion string is as long as it is,to me, indicates that words and definitions are clear. As a native English speaker, I figure is I can’t figure it out then there are others who will struggle even further.

Whatever words are chosen I suggest we change them soon and expand the definitions well enough to ensure clarity.


(Andy Lulham) #63

Hi @Michelle_IOM,

Both the proposal I made here in April, and the one @bill_anderson made earlier this month remove the word “completion”, so should help avoid the confusion you’re talking about.

Just to restate my proposal (which is slightly different to Bill’s) the codelist would become:

Activity Status Codelist (updated)

Code Name (en) Name (fr) Description (en)
1 Pipeline/identification Planification The activity is being scoped or planned
2 Implementation Actif The activity is currently being implemented
3 Completion Finalisation Finalisation Physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made, but the activity remains open pending financial sign off or M&E.
4 Post-completion Closed Fermé Physical activity is complete or the final disbursement has been made , but the activity remains open pending financial sign off or M&E.
5 Cancelled Annulé The activity has been cancelled
6 Suspended Suspendu The activity has been temporarily suspended

I’ve attempted to highlight the changes above, but just to state explicitly, there are two parts to this change:

  • switching the descriptions for codes 3 and 4 (this is necessary)
  • renaming codes 3 and 4 in an attempt to make them a bit clearer, and avoid potentially ambiguous use of “completion” (this is not strictly necessary, but is a nice-to-have that appears to have near-universal support)

A couple of supporting points to mention:

  • The English name change is just for clarity, and doesn’t change the meaning.
  • There are no changes to the French names here. Ever since they were added in Oct 2013, they’ve always been Planification, Actif, Finalisation, Fermé, Annulé et Suspendu (in that order). So the renaming here would bring the English names in line with the French.
  • In v1.0x, there were no codelist descriptions. These were first added at v2.01, and that’s where this confusion started. That’s the key reason we think it makes more sense to fix the descriptions. This thread starts with @stevieflow flagging the bug back in July 2015, and proposing that the descriptions should be switched.

After @bill_anderson’s message prior to the TAG, I thought we’d resolved this issue. However, I see now that perhaps the details were still up in the air. I agree with @Michelle_IOM that it would be great to get this resolved soon.


(Mark Brough) #64

+1 to @andylolz’ summary and proposal. Basically just switching the descriptions and taking the opportunity to clarify the names.


(IATI Technical Team) #65

Thanks everyone for the clarifications and suggestion.

We will proceed with making the below changes to the activity status codelist as a bug fix and will implement by Tuesday 4th of December.

We will also update this post once changes are live on the website.


(IATI Technical Team) #66

The changes have now been implemented and are live on the IATI website.


(Steven Flower) #67

Great to see! Thanks all

It’s a shame that we have no changelog notice alongside this, however (see transactionType for an example). I understand this documentation routine was removed during the upgrade to 2.03 ?

Given there is a change in this codelist, it would seem very useful to include a notice for people to understand when this took place, and the underlying discussion that informed it.


(Andy Lulham) #68

Agreed! :clap:

Absolutely right. I’ve created a ticket for this, and have sent the requisite pull requests ([v2.01] [v2.02] [v2.03]).


(IATI Technical Team) #69

The changelog can now be seen here: http://reference.iatistandard.org/203/codelists/ActivityStatus/.

Thanks @andylolz