New IATI Validator launched for public testing

(IATI Technical Team) #1

The IATI Technical Team and Data4Development are very pleased to launch the new IATI Validator for a month of testing between 12 November and 11 December.

About the new IATI Validator

The new IATI Validator will replace the existing IATI public validator to offer a more robust service. The tool checks data against all rules and guidance (musts & shoulds) in the IATI Standard. The tool aims to improve the quality of IATI data to ensure it is accessible and useful to anyone working with data on development and humanitarian resources and results.

Access the new IATI Validator now.

Please help test the new IATI Validator

To test the new IATI Validator, please check the quality of IATI data files and provide feedback on your experience. Specifically:

  • publishers are requested to check their own data by uploading unpublished IATI files to understand if the content complies with the IATI Standard;

  • publishers should also test the Public Data Viewer to check the IATI files that they have already published;

  • all data users can test the Public Data Viewer to find information about the quality of any publishers’ IATI data files.

Please provide your feedback by using the Validator Feedback form on the tool or raise issues on Github. Users who are unable to access Github or use the Validator Feedback form are welcome to share their feedback by emailing support@iatistandard.org.

Provide feedback on specific issues

To help the Technical Team and Data4development sort through feedback efficiently, please provide separate comments/issues on:

  • Reporting a bug (where something is not working e.g. broken links)

  • Requesting a feature/enhancement e.g. improvement in visual design

  • Questions/comments on how the rules and guidance are being checked by the new IATI Validator

Support using the new IATI Validator

Users can access the following support to use the new tool:

  • Q&A: New IATI Validator (testing phase)
  • IATI Standard Guidance documents, signposted to by the IATI Validator
  • IATI Technical Team helpdesk support@iatistandard.org.
  • Webinar on how to use the IATI Validator - Wednesday 27 November 2019, 3pm UK time (registration details to follow shortly). More webinars will be scheduled to meet demand, if required.
  • One-to-one calls with the Technical Team if required

More checks, more errors - but no cause for alarm

The new IATI Validator checks data against all rules of the IATI Standard. We anticipate that by using the new tool, publishers will discover many more errors than were previously picked up with the old tool. Therefore, they may have many corrections to make to their data. These may take some time to address, and it is important to keep in mind that publishers are not expected to correct their data immediately. Using the tool will help publishers understand where there are errors and make appropriate corrections to ensure their data is of the highest quality.

Do contact the IATI Technical Team for help or questions about making corrections to your data.

Tech note: where to find further information on Validator checks?

The new IATI Validator runs checks against version 2 of the Schema and Rulesets of the IATI Standard. Full information about the IATI Schema can be found on IATI’s Reference site. To view the most up-to-date information about IATI’s Rulesets please refer to Data4Developement’s IATI Ruleset repository.

For more technical information, please see Q&A: New IATI Validator (testing phase).

What will happen after the Validator testing phase?

After the testing period is over, the Technical Team will review all feedback and suggestions for changes that were not addressed during the testing phase. The Team will post a summary of responses on IATI Discuss and let users know how they will be addressed in the future, and plans for phasing out the older IATI public validator.

Thanks in advance to IATI’s dedicated community who are able to support the testing phase of the new IATI Validator. For any questions please email: support@iatistandard.org.

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(Samuele Mattiuzzo) #2

Thank you to all that have eagerly started testing the tool straight away, we are receiving quite a lot of valid and interesting feedback, some of which relates to bugs and some other relates to very good enhancing suggestions!

I’m very happy to see our community this famished!

As a quick clarification: the Validator only applies what’s currently in the Standard+Ruleset to the files you want checked. As such, if a rule isn’t clear or doesn’t seem to make sense, it’s not something that should be reported through the Validator feedback form.

That would fall under the “community consultation” practices and, any changes might require an upgrade process as well.

To give you an example: a bug report came through today stating that budget periods of less than 1 year as a rule wasn’t necessarily the best way of describing how their reporting matches their activities. While this is a valid consideration, it does not relate to the tool itself, as the tool is correctly validating reported periods against the 1 year timeframe.

If the reporter instead stated that their activity spans 1 month within 1 year, yet doesn’t pass validation, that would be a valid bug report: the data that is being checked actually matches the rules requirement, so it means the tool is faulty (in that case).

I hope the above and the clarification makes sense to all, otherwise please get in touch!

We will keep checking the GitHub issues and, whenever something similar is raised, they will most likely be flagged as not relating to the tool’s testing and closed with an explanatory comment. This doesn’t mean your issue is invalid, it simply means it’s not the best place to discuss it! They can always be re-opened if further clarification changes their status.

5 Likes
(Michelle Levesque) #3

@samuele-mattiuzzo

Pretty sure that was me because I had never known or seen the rule that said our budgets can’t be more than a year. I will gladly raise this in the community setting as we absolutely have projects that last more than a year and we don’t publish the budget broken down by year. I’m happy to be a rebel rule breaker for the moment. Sorry to have misunderstood and incorrectly classified the feedback.

Good luck with clearing all the other issues.

Michelle

1 Like
(Samuele Mattiuzzo) #4

Yup, it was your feedback that prompted my clarification!

By all means there isn’t a wrong/right feedback, what you reported was an issue you faced and you used the issue reporting system we provided the users with so all is good!

I just wanted to clarify all of the above to mitigate (rather than prevent completely) the amount of issues that might get raised due to incongruencies in the Rules rather than actual code-related bugs. The line is thin in some cases!

Not to worry, no harm done, and actually much praise for the testing and feedback that is happening! This is something that can’t be said enough!

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