Tech Paper: Improvements to the Organisation Standard


(Bill Anderson) #1

This paper will propose modifications to be considered for the 2.03 decimal upgrade.

More data on organisation-level finances

  • Core funding and funding from own sources. (See separate paper)
  • Total operational spend - a self-reporting facility for the calculation of Coverage in Publisher Statistics.
  • A proposal from UNDP to use the standard for UN system Chief Executive Board (CEB) reporting at highest UN organization level. (Annual expense, annual budget, annual working capital, annual revenue by funding, annual assessed revenue)

Other Issues

  • CRS Non-flow data. For publishers reporting to the OECD DAC who want to derive their entire CRS++ submission from IATI data.

Issues relating to both Organisation and Activity standards

  • Enforce all u.r.l.s to be absolute, not relative.
  • U/L case validation of organisation identifiers (and registration agency suffixes)
  • Booleans can be reported either as 0/1 or true/false. This complicates the data for non-technical users. Should the standard allow only one version?

This paper outline is part of the Agenda for the IATI TAG 2016 Technical Consultation Workshop

:bird: #IATI #TAG2016


Tech paper: Improvements to publishing statistics methodologies
Standards Day: Outline Agenda
Tech Paper: Improvements to the Activity Standard
(Rory Scott) #2

Following discussions with @stevieflow and @TimDavies, there’s a suggestion to add some kind of sector specific pledge/promise/commitment element to the organisation standard to allow organisations to declare public pledges made and allow for easier evaluation of who’s met their promises. A very rough draft could look something like this:

<iati-organisation>
  <!-- ... organisation elements ... -->
  <pledge code="AG">
    <narrative>Commitment to publish great Agriculture data to IATI by a certain date</narrative>
  </pledge>
  <!-- ... organisation elements ... -->
<iati-organisation>

This would require a non-embedded ‘Pledge’ (or similar) codelist. I’m aware that the word ‘Pledge’ might convey a very soft commitment, so consider this a placeholder for a more appropriate term for now. Suggestions welcome.


(Ole Jacob Hjøllund) #3

Regarding the ‘Budgets’ part of the organisation file, we need an opportunity to state the nature of the budget, equal to the qualification of types of transactions in the activity-file. As it is, the user is led to assume that the forward-looking aggregate budget is ‘disbursement frames’, but this is not always the case.

The most important, guiding principle for completion of this section of the organisation file must be to rely on, and present, the data that are valid for the overall governance of the organisation – in the case of Denmark this is our Finance Act for the current year, with its ‘prognosis’ for the following three years.

Being based on ‘Commitments’, these frames are defining the volume of new commitments each year – giving only indirect information on the average duration of these commitments, and thus the disbursement of these commitments.

For some international organisations, there will be annual commitment-frames, indicating that the annual disbursements will be around the same level. But for the major, bilateral recipient-countries, there may only be commitment-frames every fifth year, leaving four years with no data in the organisation-file.

This could and should be clearly stated in the file, having an attribute that states whether the ‘budget’ is presenting commitment or disbursement frames.


(Ole Jacob Hjøllund) #4

As a solution to a problem outlined under the ‘Improvements to the Activity Standard’ regarding PIU-reporting:

IATI-reporters that are ‘parents’ of IATI-reporting PIU’s could be requested to declare their ‘childs’ in the organisation_file, thus acting as a ‘lower-level registrationagency’: Validating suffix_id’s for the PIU’s to use in their Organisation_Identifier.


(Bill Anderson) #5

Before I add this into the agenda can I check that the OpenAg team feel strongly that:

  • A framework for such pledges does indeed exist
  • Users will be better able to assess activities by referring to a commitment in the organisation standard

I’m not convinced, but happy to include it if you can sell it.


(Bill Anderson) #6

@OJ_ am I right in understanding that you are proposing we add a budget-type attribute (with an associated BudgetType codelist) to all budget elements, i.e.

  • total-budget
  • recipient-org-budget
  • recipient-country-budget
  • recipient-region-budget

Do we assume that budget-line sub-elements do not need this element and inherit the type from their parent?

Should we also consider including a document-link element to provide further clarity?


(Herman van Loon) #7

@OJ_ Yes, the situation in the Netherlands is the same: there are separate commitment and disbursements budgets. Both are specified by year in the annual budget cycle.

@bill_anderson Yes, for each budget element, both types (disbursement and commitment) may apply. For the Netherlands, by example, there is an Disbursement Total Budget by year and a Commitment Total Budget by year.


(Bill Anderson) #8

This proposal was put forward in 2014 as a result of a discussion at the TAG that year.

My suggestion is that we do NOT consider this as a candidate for inclusion in the Organisation Standard. If there is a commitment within the UN System to take this forward I suggest we develop an extension, which can be brought into the standard at a later date if it gains traction.


(Rory Scott) #9

As far as I’m aware, this isn’t being actively pursued by the Open Ag Funding Partnership, and I personally don’t think I would answer ‘yes’ to either 1) or 2) - at least in the case of Ag investors.

That said, there may be other use cases i.e. the grand bargain (p.15 for a rudimentary framework).

I don’t feel strongly that it should be included, so unless anyone does, I’d feel free to omit from the agenda.


(Bill Anderson) #10

The draft discussion paper containing proposals can be found here.