There are three core types of change that could happen at an integer upgrade:
- Fixes to incorrect decisions or assumptions from the past (see: making root elements mandatory (slide 90))
- General changes akin to a decimal upgrade that are not backwards-compatible (see: making
participating-org/@role=”1” mandatory (slide 115))
- A full and proper review of the standard with a defined purpose such as simplification or properly integrating changes that were added imperfectly at a decimal (see: discussion in the IATI v3+: Imagining the future together session at the TAG)
The integer upgrade timetable as defined is able to deal with the first two situations (it's fundamentally an extended version of the decimal proposal plus some Members Assembly approval points). It isn't, however, able to successfully deal with the third, and fundamentally most important, point.
Integer upgrades are an action that do not and should not occur on a regular basis, and as such should be utilised to improve the Standard in the best way possible. The currently defined piecemeal approach to proposals cannot gain this high-level consistency and vision.
As such, a potential method of rectifying this is that for any integer upgrade that may fall into Category 3 (pretty much any):
- Move Members Assembly Approval to week -30
- Add that around the point of Members Assembly Approval, the reason(s) for starting the upgrade process are defined, potentially along with potential visions for the outcome (these should be extractable from Ongoing discussion, and be open for modification as the process continues)
- From week -26 (if not already occurring on an Ongoing basis), the Tech Team dedicates a couple of persons to work on the development of full and consistent sets of proposals that could satisfy the visions (through use of an informally defined consultation process)
- The developed proposals are submitted during weeks 1-4 and the process continues as defined (the sets of proposals developed by the Tech Team treated as any other)
This change would allow time for a full review of every part of the Standard to occur, provide room for developing sets of proposals that are fully consistent, and make it clear that integers can be used to make sweeping improvements to the Standard rather than just changes that happen to be backwards-incompatible.
It could alternatively/additionally be seen as noting that, given their other responsibilities, Ongoing may not provide capacity within the Tech Team to work on ensuring that proposals, and so integer upgrades, are the best they could be.