Our Aid Transparency Index seeks to assess the timeliness, comprehensiveness, and comparability of data from some of the world’s biggest aid donors. We will kick off data collection for the 2020 Index this December. Our recent blog sets out more details of the Index timetable.
If you are one of the publishers included in the Index, we will provide you with initial scores at the start of the data collection period. This, we hope, enables you to prioritise what improvements you can and will make before the end of data collection.
But there’s no need to wait until December. We have built several tools that will allow all IATI publishers to assess much of their data now. They are all free and available online. Here’s a quick summary of what they do and how you can use them:
Data Quality Tester
This tool, which to a large extent mirrors the Aid Transparency Tracker’s automated assessment portion of the Index, allows organisations to test the quality of their IATI data. It is based on our Index methodology so if you want to monitor your progress between the Index cycles, this is a great tool. For those not in the Index, but who are either just starting to publish, or just want to know how they might fare, the tool is a great place to start.
The IATI Standard has two basic structures: the organisation file (which contains the higher level, strategic information such as overall budgets, country disaggregated budgets, country strategies) and activity files (which contain the more granular project level data). Until recently, there was no tool to visualise the organisational information from a donor – making this information essentially inaccessible. IATI Decipher addresses this need, allowing users to access information from the IATI Registry into easily read graphs and charts. The information visualised by IATI Decipher includes:
- Budgets by fiscal year
- Budget by sector by fiscal year
- Budgets by recipient country by fiscal year
- Budgets for a recipient country by sector
- Links to donor documents, such as country strategies and annual reports
Although Decipher was built to improve access and use of the organisation file data, we’ve learned that publishers have adopted the tool as a way to visualise, check and then correct their organisation file data.
Our third, just released tool is IATI Canary. It’s a free data monitoring and alert service – once you’ve signed up (you can follow any IATI publisher), it will check that the IATI data is both available and compliant with the IATI schema. And if there’s a problem, you’ll get an email.
One of our main goals at Publish What You Fund is to ensure that foreign assistance data is comprehensive, comparable, and accessible so that it can be used for better development outcomes. Giving users and publishers tools to check their own data and to access data through easy visualisation tools should help improve publishing practices and contribute to our overall mission.
We hope these tools are helpful. Please give them a test run and let us know if you have any questions or comments!