Publishing Results to IATI: Will it Improve Learning and Accountability?
Donors are increasingly making – or considering making – the publication of results information to the IATI standard a requirement of their grantees. But will this lead to increased learning and accountability? What checks would need to be in place to avoid the publication of misleading or useless data, and to ensure that NGOs are supported in their publishing?
This discussion paper – written by Bond’s Michael O’Donnell, explores the background and rationale for publishing results to IATI and the impact this could have on organisations and the transparency of the sector. The paper uses 7 tests to assess the extent to which publishing results to IATI would enhance learning and accountability, and makes recommendations for making the IATI results module fit for purpose, and for donors to consider if making publishing results mandatory.
The final discussion paper will be launched in early April an has been posted here ahead of then as we would really appreciate your insights and reflections. We’d encourage you to discuss any aspect of the topic either here or by adding comments directly to the document.
Good discussion paper! It is crucial for donors and CSOs to have the same vision and understanding on the ‘why’ to publish results. As the paper points it out well, when this comes as a requirement for funding access, CSOs will just do it and try to fill fields designed as ‘mandatory’ without looking at the value it is adding to get more valuable information. Statistics are clear on this. It is only when issues identified in this paper are well addressed and when CSOs will see the value of publishing - beyond fulfilling donors’ requirements that the quality of IATI data will start improving. I want to add the important aspect on CSOs assessment of this value: they need to see how publishing results - in addition to already existing fields add value to their own business. I remember asking to some of my peers 'Why should CSOs continue publishing and what are they gaining from this - especially looking at the percentage of CSOs publishing on IATI. Interestingly, responses received varied significantly. However, putting the different pieces together helped to understand and being able to make the case on the benefits for CSOs themselves - beyond the need for quality data for Partner Countries. Good examples of CSOs using data for themselves started emerging and it helps improving in quality of reporting.
In short, this paper comes at the right time and efforts to address highlighted issues are truly needed. Well done!