IATI news: greater UK government transparency and SDG guidance issued

IATI news: greater UK government transparency and SDG guidance issued

There are a number of exciting new International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) developments this month, including three new UK government department publishers, guidance on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and updates from IATI on the technical standard used. 

What is IATI? 

IATI is an open data standard used by international development and humanitarian projects. Many projects and charities are required to publish data to standard by donors such as the UK and Dutch government. Publishing project data online improves transparency and makes the results of projects accessible to the public and press. 

Three UK government departments start publishing to IATI  

  1. UK- Department for Education has one active project entitled ‘Education of asylum seeker applicant children in England’  

  1. UK- Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has two active projects: ‘Cultural Protection Fund’ and ‘Digital Access Programme’, 

  1. UK Department for International Trade has one active project, called ‘The Investment Promotion Programme’  

Why does this matter? Publish What You Fund is in the process of compiling data on the UK Government’s Aid Strategy to calculate the upcoming Aid Transparency Index for 2020. The UK Government has pledged to achieve a score of ‘good’ in 2020 based on data published to IATI across all government departments. All three new government department publishers are displaying issues with the data quality on IATI. You can read more about the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to improve its transparency in our recent news item.  

IATI and tracking contributions to the SDGs 

  1. SDG publishing guidance was recently released by the IATI SDG working group, explaining how to use tag elements instead of policy markers to publish contribution to the SDGs. 

  1. Publish What You Fund wrote a blog about the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC Group) and whether it is making a game-changing contribution to the SDGs.  

Why does this matter? With the High Level Political Forum this week in New York, and 2020 marking the Decade for Delivery, tracking our efforts and expenditures towards the SDGs is more important than ever. With an ever increasing role for blended finance and impact investing, global development finance institutions will play a crucial role in achieving the SDGs and the sector should be tracking their contributions and analysing the impact that their money is making. 

IATI technical and strategic updates 

  1. Version 1 of the IATI standard was deprecated on 30 June and will no longer be updated, it was replaced by Version 2 which has improved data usability and standardisation. If you need any help with files you can email the IATI technical team for support

  1. IATI held a workshop in Copenhagen as part of their strategic planning process about their technical vision and you can read a summary on their blog 

  1. The IATI website has been made available in French and the codelists for the standard will soon be available in French too. 

Need more support on the topic of transparency or have questions about IATI? 

For more information about improving organisational transparency and publishing to IATI please visit our new resource page on the website. If you have any further questions you can get in touch with a member of the Effectiveness & Learning team by email. 

Interested to view our members’ IATI data? 

Over 20 of our network members currently publish their data to the open standard. You can view our members’ profiles on the visualisation platform d-portal to find about their funding, activities and results: ActionAid, British Red Cross, CBM, Christian Aid, Christian Engineers in Development, EMMS International, Feed the Minds, IOD PARC, Islamic Relief, Link Community Development International, Mary’s Meals, Mercy Corps, Opportunity International, Oxfam Scotland, Save the Children, SCIAF, Sense Scotland, Tearfund, The HALO Trust, The Open University, UNICEF, VSO International, Water Witness International and WaterAid