State of IATI 2015

I plan to open the first plenary on Saturday 30 May with a short summary of where I think we are as a standard and as a technical community.

This year the TAG has three broad themes:

  • Getting it Right: how do we make sure that we’re publishing the most useful and best quality data we can?
  • Using the Data: how do we make it easy for people to use the data?
  • What Next? what is next for the IATI standard and community?

In the talk, I’d like to reflect views from people across the IATI TAG community. I’d like us to go into the main part of the TAG with an acknowledgement of how far we have come in establishing a robust international data standard, but also recognising the challenges that we will face in 2015 and beyond.

So I’d like your help in answering the following three questions:

1. What have our key successes been in the last 18 months or so? What have we as a community done particularly well? What should we celebrate?
2. Where could we have done better?
3. What are the key challenges we face in 2015, as we lead up to the Busan deadline? And what can we do about those challenges?

I appreciate those are big questions, but help me out here! Any responses this week will let me process my thoughts as I travel to Ottawa.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Ottawa at the end of next week!


I do not have enough historical perspective to respond on the first two questions. On the third question, it seems to me the key challenges for the TAG community are:

  1. To be able at the end of 2015 to point to a very clear analysis of how far Busan endorsers have honoured (and failed to honour) Point 23 in the Busan outcome document. I’m not sure that existing monitoring procedures - including the PWYF tracker/progress review - are complete or incisive enough.
  2. To be able to demonstrate clearly and cogently how the failure, in particular, of enough donors to provide “a full range of information” within “a common open standard” undermines the usefulness of all of the powerful and creative tools which have been developed in order to use the data in aid policy and planning.
  3. To anticipate responses by programme people that “you did not give us enough help to identify the required data and produce it in acceptable form”. Probably this means making sure we have asked them very clearly (perhaps systematically) why they are not providing us with enough of the required information, and studied their responses carefully, addressed them as best we can, and developed a clear account of why there is still a problem.