Results – recognising partner contributions
Type of Change
Addition to schema
• Currently attribution is only possible for entire projects, not individual results or indicators.
• Why is this a problem?: An increasingly large proportion of projects involve working in partnerships, be it from working with community groups, governments, NGOs, the private sector, academia, our funders etc. This presents a practical but solvable challenge where each reporting organisation in the partnership must represent these joint projects in their IATI data, making sure they reflect their relationship to the project and to others in the partnership using elements like participating-org and related-activity.
However, there is also a challenge for reporting results. There is currently no means to attribute specific project results to specific organisations within a partnership. This is leading to a number of undesirable reporting practices, for example, some organisations are unrecognised for their input, or all implementing organisations are assumed to have inputted equally, or the project is split into many smaller replicated projects in the data (one for each combination of implementing partners).
Each of these practices cause confusion when trying to understand and use IATI data. Further they can disempower some organisations through the reporting process and they can create high reporting burden and opportunity for error through forcing organisations to artificially split and repeat their reporting of project results (and corresponding finances) into multiple sub-projects just for the purpose of IATI.
There is a growing convention that each organisation reports only their own results. Further, where there are overarching results (e.g. where multiple organisations’ contributions cannot be separated) these results are reported by the lead organisation (as determined by e.g. funding agreement structure) (eg: section 1.2 of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) guidelines: https://www.government.nl/documents/publications/2015/12/01/open-data-and-development-cooperation). This convention can help to avoid double counting and clarifies the interrelatedness of organisations’ activities.
However, this convention only partially solves the challenge. For example, even for overarching results, not all results apply to all members of a consortium. Here the ability to recognise contributions to results would avoid the additional reporting burden, risk of error, confusion and lack of traceability from artificially replicating and fragmenting projects.
Also some organisations also do not have the capacity to report directly to IATI (think of the tiny pop-up organisations that are funded to take on specific causes such as Ebola but that do not have computer/internet access). Rather than remove their voice from IATI publishing we suggest it is preferable that the funding/reporting organisation, which will already be collecting the required IATI information as part of their funding agreement in many cases, is able to report and recognise the organisations efforts.
We propose that a “light touch” attribution should be possible by adding the names and/or IATI organisation identifier of participating organisations that are involved in a result or indicator.
add participating-org (0…*) to result/ and result/indicator
with “ref” attribute to link to iati organisation identifier
(see http://iatistandard.org/202/activity-standard/iati-activities/iati-activity/result/ and http://iatistandard.org/202/activity-standard/iati-activities/iati-activity/result/indicator/ for relevant sections of the standard)
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: recognising partner contributions
• This topic addresses Principle 6 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 (https://www.bond.org.uk/resources/publishing-results-to-iati - also on discuss.iatistandard : Sharing Results using IATI data standard: will it improve learning and accountability? ).
• Related discussion on importance of allowing attribution at project level: http://support.iatistandard.org/entries/82377659-Add-activity-id-attribute-to-participating-org-element