Results – add more indicator vocabularies (excluded 2.03)

Results – add more indicator vocabularies


Schema Object
IndicatorVocabulary codelist ( )

Type of Change
Additions to Codelist

While the Indicator Vocabulary codelist contains some external indicator codelists, there are a number omitted (notably for the SDG indicators).

Add new codes to the IndicatorVocabulary codelist for the following indicator codelists:
• UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Indicators:
• Bond’s Impact Builder indicators:
• Department for International Development (DFID) standard indicators:
• WHO/ UNICEF Joint monitoring Programme (JMP):
• Everyday Peace Indicators:
• Women Stats:
• Gap Minder:
• Open 17:
• Deliver 2030:
• SDG16 Data Initiative:
• Dutch Development Results:
• Health Equity Monitor:
• mWater indicator library:

Standards Day
Workshopped at the TAG 2017 and mentioned at the end of the Standards day as part of the results section. Although there was very little time to discuss the proposal, no criticism of the proposal was offered. Proposal has been on IATI Discuss since March 2017.

• This topic is discussed here: Results: Make the quality of evidence behind IATI results data transparent
• This topic addresses part of Principle 3 from a consultation driven by Monitoring and Evaluation experts from UK CSOs Jan – Mar 2017 – see Results: discussion space and TAG 2016/17 path. Technical suggestions were devised by technology specialists at the Nethope Athens conference March 2017. In all around 30 M&E and technical specialists were involved in this consultation and it builds on a previous consultation by Bond 2015-16 ( - also on discuss.iatistandard : Sharing Results using IATI data standard: will it improve learning and accountability? ).

Hi Mike,
As mentioned in my comments in the original proposal on Google docs, I am very doubtful to add this element to the standard. Isn’t adding a confidence element overmodelling the standard? The confidence of an indicator can (and should i.m.o.) be specified in the methodological notes: how do you measure and what are the limits. The methodological notes can be referred to through the proposed document links. Than there is no need for yet another element.

Hi @Herman, thanks for taking a look and commenting on this results work - its great to get community feedback. You’ll see though that this proposal isn’t asking for a “confidence” element, just adding to the indicator vocabulary codelist.

This topic has been included for consideration in the formal 2.03 proposal

Notes from consultation calls w/c 3rd July

The proposal was reviewed by those on the call and there was no objection from the group.

In addition those on the call discussed the difference between embedded, non-embedded and replicated codelists.

See also 'Proposed Addition To The Indicator Vocabulary

Many thanks. We have now updated the link for UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Indicators


Apologies for the late contribution, but I have somehow missed all the community calls (and couldn’t find any times or info posted online?).

I do support the addition of more result vocabularies in order to allow publishers to refer to ‘common ground’ indicators and thus be able to make more sense of results data.

I would expect IATI to stick to internationally recognised vocabularies such as e.g. the SDGs, World Development Indicators and possibly sector specific recognised vocabularies, however.

I’m not an M&E expert, but the proposed list of vocabularies contains some problems. A few examples:

• Dutch Development Results:

As far as I know this is not a maintained vocabulary. Next to that it is donor/country specific. If each donor or country comes up with a vocabulary, we’ll end up with hundreds of vocabularies which contradicts the purpose of using vocabularies.

This is i.m.o. a selection of internationally recognised indicators from different (source) vocabularies

I fail to see how Open 17 is a separate vocabulary. It seems to refer to the SDGs?

As said, I’m not an M&E expert and therefore not in a position to examine the value of all the proposed vocabularies - but I think IATI should stick to recognising the obvious ones. The more organisation specific vocabularies can still be referred to using "vocabulary=“99"”

@pelleaardema I agree that this list contains a number of candidates that are unsuitable.

As this is a non-embedded codelist its content is not governed by the upgrade process [but on this forum]
( It would, however, be useful for the technical team to have access to a definition to use as a reference for this.

Something like
A publicly accessible authority list that specifically defines M&E indicators and is used by more than one institution. It is preferable that the list is machine readable and contains language-agnostic codes (not just free-text descriptions)

Thanks @bill_anderson for clarifying that this proposal does not fall under the upgrade process. Some guiding principles, such as @bill_anderson’s suggestion to the IATI technical team, would be really useful to the community more generally (please post a link if I have missed it somewhere).

seems open to interpretation that a donor/country specific vocabulary is fine so long as other organisations publish using it - is this the intention?

Following @pelleaardema’s comments could we also clarify preferences (not necessarily rule our/in) for eg: a vocabulary that is maintained, vocabularies that are not just combinations of other vocabularies, and:

So far, and acknowledging this is outside the upgrade process, I think we have consensus for adding:

Yes, that was my suggestion: some kind of check that a vocabulary is not only used by its creator. (For example the DFID link in your list looks very impressive, but does anyone other than DFID use it? If not it should be a ‘99’ vocabulary.)