At the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, Grand Bargain signatory organisations agreed to work towards greater transparency by identifying and implementing a shared open data standard and common digital platform to enhance transparency and decision-making. As a first step they committed to publishing timely, transparent, harmonised and open high-quality data on humanitarian funding and activities within two years of the Summit and identified the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) as the basis for a common standard. Development Initiatives is working with the Grand Bargain transparency workstream to improve humanitarian transparency and take forward the Grand Bargain commitment on transparency. Through this paper we are consulting on proposals to: Improve the IATI Standard to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the humanitarian community. Develop a framework and methodology to support Grand Bargain signatories and the wider humanitarian community in monitoring progress against the transparency commitment.
Author Archives: Development Initiatives
Date: 28 March 2017 Time: 13:30–17:00 Location: Church House, Westminster, SW1P 3NZ, London About: The first report has been produced after extensive consultation in over 30 countries from Bolivia to Rwanda to Fiji, engaging thousands of people. We’ll be joined by speakers from a few of the countries to share their insights and knowledge. The second report, from the P20 Initiative, focuses on tracking the progress of the people who are in the poorest 20% globally. The event will include a light lunch from 13:30-14:00, followed by three interactive sessions: Global insights on the groups and communities being left behind Country presentations and recommendations on building grassroots partnerships Discussion on priorities and next steps to ensure the Leave No One Behind pledge is delivered Sign up to attend Find out more about the Leave No One Behind Partnership Sponsors: The Leave No One Behind Partnership: CIVICUS, Development Initiatives and Project Everyone, with support from the UK Department for International Development
Date 29 March 2017 Time 13.30−16.30 CET Location Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG), Rue de Varembé 17, CH 1211 Genève 20, Switzerland About Transparency is a fundamental part of improving the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of crisis prevention and response. The commitment by Grand Bargain signatory organisations to publish timely, transparent, harmonised and open high-quality data on humanitarian financing by May 2018 – using the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) as the basis for a common standard – sets a clear direction for improving humanitarian data for better accountability, decision-making and learning. What types of data and information on humanitarian funding and activities are needed? What are the key challenges and incentives for organisations to publish better data on their humanitarian activities?
The key consensus emerging from the conference – which was attended by 1,400 data experts – is that in order to leave no one behind, investment in civil registration and vital statistics is absolutely imperative. Improving registry and administrative data is an essential building block in creating sustainable data infrastructures. That over 100 countries do not keep accurate birth and death records, and that many don’t record causes of deaths, starkly highlights both the scale of the issue and also the huge potential of investment to close data gaps and – more importantly – ensure that we leave no one behind. Many delegates spoke of the need for improving administrative data to ensure that there is quality, local data that can be used for local decision-making. Yusuf Murangwa, the Director General of the Department of Statistics in Rwanda, made the point succinctly in our ‘Counting people to make people count’ session: “If we do it right, civil registration has the potential to make sure that we don’t leave anyone behind.
The introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals has brought with it calls for a data revolution: transformative action to respond to the data demands of the post-2015 development agenda. Much of the focus of the data revolution has been on data collection, capacity building, closing data gaps and using data to promote transparency and accountability. While making improvements in each of these areas is absolutely necessary, there is a pressing need to take the revolution further by going beyond the data itself. We need to see the data revolution extend to cover a revolution in the information that sits behind data — the what, the how, the who and the when — because this revolution would make planning and monitoring spending on the SDGs a far more manageable task. Take the example of SDG 4 — quality education — in Kenya.
This week, we’re representing IATI – an initiative making information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand – at TAG 2017. This is the flagship event for IATI’s global technical community committed to improving transparency and open data in development. To date, IATI has attracted more than 500 publishers, who are sharing information about transactions that last year alone totalled US$146 billion (see the 2016 annual report). It’s essential that the valuable information reported to the IATI standard is now used to improve the effectiveness of these resources through enhanced decision making, transparency and accountability.
Development and humanitarian actors of all types have traditionally faced challenges accessing quality, timely, forward-looking and comprehensive data on resource inputs and results. In 2008, the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) was launched as a voluntary multi-stakeholder initiative to improve the transparency of aid, development and humanitarian resources. IATI has come a long way in a short period of time. More than 500 organisations are now publishing data on their activities in a common open-data standard.
This background paper introduces humanitarian actors, particularly those organisations that have signed up to the Grand Bargain, to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard. It answers key questions about the purpose of IATI, how it works, who uses it, and how it relates to existing humanitarian financing tracking systems and platforms. At the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, a number of leading donor governments, multilateral and UN agencies and NGOs, agreed the ‘Grand Bargain: A Shared Commitment to Better Serve People in Need’, including a set of proposals and commitments to increase the transparency of humanitarian financing. Within commitments on transparency, IATI is identified as the basis for a common standard for publishing data on humanitarian funding. Download the background paper in full
Southern providers themselves recognise the benefits of such measuring and monitoring – it enables South–South cooperation to maximise its unique contribution to Agenda 2030. Moreover, there is a clear demand for better information from partner countries. Better data would support monitoring and evaluation, improve effectiveness, explore synergies with other resources and ensure accountability to a diverse set of stakeholders. At the moment, technical and political challenges mean an international consensus on how and whether to measure and monitor South–South cooperation remains far from sight.
View the full report here Assistance provided as cash or vouchers to people affected by humanitarian crises can offer greater choice and empowerment compared with assistance provided as goods in kind. At the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, many of the world’s largest humanitarian donors and agencies made a set of commitments, as part of a ‘Grand Bargain’, to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of humanitarian assistance. Among the commitments was an agreement to ‘increase the use and coordination of cash-based programming’. There is currently no accurate, globally comparable data on the volume of assistance delivered in the form of cash and vouchers. In this report we aim to fill that gap by providing a baseline estimate on the volume and nature of cash-based programming in 2015.
Session 1: An introduction to the IATI Standard within the humanitarian context This session is for participants who want to understand what IATI is, how it can benefit the humanitarian community, and what it means to be an IATI publisher in terms of balancing transparency with operational, security, privacy and other concerns. When: Thursday 23 February 2017, 09.00–10.00 EST/14.00–15.00 GMT/15.00–16.00 CET Register to attend. After registering you will receive a link with instructions for joining the webinar If you are interested but can’t attend, still go ahead and sign up and we’ll make sure you have access to the recording and materials when they come out. Register to receive the recording.