Considering Strategic Partnerships in the Evolving International Development Landscape

Discussion 2
4 Feb - 28 Feb 2019
Go back to Consultation for development of the IATI Strategic Plan

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This consultation closed on March 1st, 2019 and the discussions are no longer accepting comments. If you would like to contact IATI, please email info@iatistandard.org

Many thanks to all those who took the time to comment on the discussions. Summaries of the discussions below will be available below on Friday 8th of March, 2019. We thank all our Moderators for facilitating the discussion and synthesising the outcomes.

From the 4th to 18th of March, IATI will hold a survey on data use as the next phase of the consultation to develop the IATI Strategic Plan. To learn more about IATI, visit iatistandard.org.

With IATI recently celebrating its ten-year anniversary, this online consultation is an opportunity to spark dialogue around essential priorities for the initiative’s next three years. Anticipating the next generation of partnership and data needs, your responses will help IATI to ensure it responds to the rapidly-evolving development finance, open data and transparency agendas, to increase the use of development cooperation data. 

You may wish to read through two background documents prepared for this consultation (an external and internal scanning paper). These papers examine the current international cooperation and open data landscape, as well as IATI’s progress and achievements since its inception in 2008, and may be useful tools to inform your participation in the consultation.

Please feel free to comment in as many threads, and respond to as many or as few questions, as you like. Though the consultation will largely be hosted in English, comments in French and Spanish are also welcomed. You may also submit contributions to info@iatistandard.org to be posted on your behalf, should you encounter any connectivity issues.

 

1. Should IATI do more to engage with actors such as South-South Cooperation providers, climate financiers and the private sector? Are there other actors or processes that IATI should engage with, and if yes, what will it take to engage them?

  • If the scale of strategic partnerships broadens to incorporate emerging development actors, how will this impact IATI’s governance structure? What institutional changes should be considered to ensure that IATI is inclusive, responsive, and fit-for-purpose?
  • The scale of strategic partnerships would also impact current IATI’s business model (membership fee-based). What considerations and measures will be needed to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of IATI?
  • How can we persuade publishers to become members?

2. How can IATI’s outreach be improved to contribute more to the ongoing discussions in the data for development space, including the open data for sustainable development movement?

3. Given the evolving international development landscape, where should IATI’s primary outreach focus be placed over the next 3-5 years?  Are there specific regions, sectors or audiences that should be prioritised? How can they be reached / involved?

 

Comments (48)

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Synthesis report of discussion: "Considering Strategic Partnerships in the Evolving International Development Landscape”

Remarkable quotes:

“IATI is meant for everyone, not just data nerds!”

“Stop telling what IATI is (or should be) and instead start showing what we do - In short: we are facing the need of new business model for IATI!”

“Let's get rid of constituents thinking in IATI and only think in terms of IATI as a community among equal partners.”

Questions:

1. Should IATI do more to engage with actors such as South-South Cooperation providers, climate financiers and the private sector? Are there other actors or processes that IATI should engage with, and if yes, what will it take to engage them?

In general, sustainable development outcomes are the most effective when all actors join forces. For IATI to be successful and inclusive of all actors, IATI should broaden the scope beyond aid (e.g. procurement and investments) without necessarily adopting the standard. Engaging with South-South Cooperation providers is not just strategic, but also coherent with IATI’s vision and mission. For engaging South-South Cooperation providers, it is key to monitor and influence the coming multilateral agreements that will result from the Buenos Aires Plan of Action.

The increasing volume of investments and activities calls for urgent coordination on transparency and accountability and makes more strategic partnerships with southern organizations critical. It is also recommended to strengthen partnerships with intermediaries who already have relationships with multiple actors in a sector. Therefore, strategic partnerships with Southern NGO umbrella groups could be considered. SDGs are a great entry point for private sector organizations and establishing IATI data as a ‘marketplace’ for development and humanitarian data (similar to any other market platform) would be valuable to monitor and assess the contributions they make in a certain country.

One of the most important strategic alliances is with the TOSSD agenda to avoid duplication of effort. The Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) is another actor that IATI is recommended to strategically engage with. Other initiatives that naturally lend themselves as partners to learn from are the Open Data or Open Government Partnerships as they share similar common objectives around open and transparent data for development.

a. If the scale of strategic partnerships broadens to incorporate emerging development actors, how will this impact IATI’s governance structure? What institutional changes should be considered to ensure that IATI is inclusive, responsive, and fit-for-purpose?

The inclusion of new publishers should not necessarily be considered strategic partnerships. Any actor that wishes to publish their activities in support of SDGs should be welcome to use the IATI-standard, without any need to change governance structure nor business model. The priority should be to deliver on core business, instead of spending resources on chasing new types of publishers. If there is demand for the data, it is assumed that they will gravitate towards IATI.

It is possible that the need to add South-South providers to the governance structure emerges. Different groups have different needs and requirements for the standard, hence there may be the need to establish working groups to address some specific needs for DFI's, private sector partners, or others. There should also be a concerted (governance) effort to ensure that new members do not only join to “check a box”, but are determined to provide useful, usable information.  A general consideration for IATI should be to “get the IATI house in order” (to be fit-for-purpose) before expanding the stakeholder map. 

b. The scale of strategic partnerships would also impact IATI’s current business model (membership fee-based). What considerations and measures will be needed to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of IATI?

IATI should continue a membership-fee based structure and the membership incentives should be curated around support, validation, and user support. Innovation, creativity and ongoing commitment to different partners should be part of the formula to increase the value of membership.

c. How can we persuade publishers to become members?

At the 2018 Members’ Assembly, members overwhelmingly voiced that raising awareness and improving data quality are critical to increasing membership. Additionally, IATI should target South-South Cooperation providers for membership and work with other initiatives (e.g. the Grand Bargain example) to ensure commitment to and use of IATI data. 

 

2. How can IATI’s outreach be improved to contribute more to the ongoing discussions in the data for development space, including the open data for sustainable development movement?

IATI should increase its presence in a variety of spaces. Given the increased emphasis on data use in the open data for sustainable development movement, it would be beneficial for IATI’s outreach to focus more on applying data to strategic problems and sharing stakeholders’ experiences working with IATI data. Some outreach activities should entail convening donors and recipients to discuss specific examples when they have used IATI data in decision-making and how IATI data benefits them. Outreach should also be considered outside of the data space, as IATI is meant for everyone not just “data nerds”. Demonstrating approaches and purposes of using IATI to a variety of different stakeholder groups should be considered for promotional matters. 

To increase outreach and representation in a variety of fora, IATI members and other parts of the community should be engaged/supported, potentially with funding from IATI and logistical support from the IATI secretariat. Other members could investigate in how to engage more broadly with networks outside of the IATI community. In general, it should be considered how IATI benefits can be demonstrated, rather than explaining what IATI is to different audiences.

 

3. Given the evolving international development landscape, where should IATI’s primary outreach focus be placed over the next 3-5 years?  Are there specific regions, sectors or audiences that should be prioritised? How can they be reached / involved?

Generally, the focus of outreach should be on expanding data use, not in the sense of data publishing, but using the information provided through IATI for coordination, learning, improving effectiveness, and/or accountability. An area that bears tremendous potential but is currently not used at all is gender. By making the policy markers searchable, IATI became one of the first places for looking at the marker of gender projects, which is pretty ground-breaking. The community could build on this and try to work with gender experts around the world to create standardized gender indicators that could be included in IATI.

The improvement of d-portal is a priority agreed at the last Members’ Assembly Meeting and is the way to demonstrate IATI commitment to use of data. Without a well-functioning d-portal there is no increase in data use and there is no point in expanding the coverage of IATI activity beyond ODA even if this could be relevant in the context of the 2030 Agenda.

Capacity development and training on IATI data use and publishing should be fundamental in the IATI Strategic Plan. What is IATI and why it is important, how to use IATI and how IATI contributes to data for development as well as to the open data movement are essential contents for a capacity development program. IATI brings coherence to aid management, however many partner countries don’t use it for its intended purposes. To this end, raising awareness on how IATI standard can be helpful in managing the aid flows would be valuable and increase the uptake. Strong communications and outreach efforts to broader audience would be useful as well.

More collaboration around technical challenges. If IATI is unable to address fundamental issues such as how organization identifiers are used, then it will be difficult to use different but complementary datasets in a meaningful way. 

 

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Dear friends; dear colleagues:

Welcome to the Consultation for developing the 2019-2022 IATI Strategic Plan!

beginning today and unitl the end of February, we shall be reflecting on strategic partnerships and analyzing the role of different actors, governance structures and focus for IAT within this ever-evolving international development landscape as well as identifying its potential and contributions to the open data for sustainable development movement. 

The three questions listed above will trigger our dialogue and discussion for the next weeks; please feel free to build on these streams of thought. 

Your thoughts, reflections and voices will be included in a document that will be central and essential for building the 2019-2022 IATI Strategic Plan. 

Any initial thoughts to kick off this collective reflection?

Luara Lopes • Research Coordinator at ASUL - South-South cooperation research and policy center from Brazil

Dear all,

Especially regarding engaging South-South Cooperation providers, I believe it is key to monitor and influence the coming multilateral agreements that will result from the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, which will take place in the last week of March. Approaching Southern providers is especially tricky, since there is a lack of consensus regarding what should be considered South-South cooperation, but the increasing volume of investments and activities call for urgent coordination on transparency and accountability.

My organisation will be in Buenos Aires and we can contribute with information from the ground, maybe creating a working group to address the challenge of engaging Southern providers.

Cheers!

Luara

David Megginson • Standards lead, Centre for Humanitarian Data at United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) from Canada

I think more strategic partnerships with southern orgs is critical. It also makes sense to strengthen partnerships with intermediaries who already have relationships with many actors in a sector. For example, IATI has been working on-and-off with UNOCHA's Financial Tracking Service (FTS) on and off since 2010 -- the very first IATI pilot ever was with FTS to support the 2010 Haiti earthquake response -- and that brings many orgs into the IATI ecosystem who might not have the interest or capacity to engage bilaterally directly with IATI.

On that same note, strategic partnerships with southern NGO umbrella groups--similar the one with FTS--could greatly expand IATI's reach.

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Dear David, Thank you for your thoughts on who are those other actors that IATI can engage with; I definitely agree with you: it is critical to engage with southern organizations! 

I think the example you shared with us on IATI’s first pilot with FTS-which happened to occur during the tragic 2010 earthquake in Haiti-is a very interesting case that displays the relevance of strengthening partnerships with intermediaries who have networks and relationships with many different actors because they share common goals. 

More than ever, southern NGOs and southern NGO umbrella groups are playing a significant role in contributing to development challenges and even still, in delivering services to those in need vía philanthropy funds and other resources. 

How can IATI engage with organizations from the south? What will it take to engage southern NGO umbrella groups as well as organizations from the south?

theo van de sande • Chair GB IATI at """MFA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands""" from Netherlands

Couldn't agree more than that southern ngo's and other southern players (consumers, patients, parents...) are the most important drivers for development, including and especially within their own country, region, village. And they have been for a long time already. Trusting that they, like Northern ngo's or governments, adhere to transparency and are open for learning, my optimistic notion is that these organisations will also find their way to IATI as publishers of their efforts, though encouragement might be needed. Development increasingly has become the result of a globally networked approach, fading out the traditional distinction between IATI publishers and IATI users.

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Let’s review the concept behind strategic partnerships...a strategic partnership is a collaborative relation between two or more partners that upon discovering that they share common goals, they decide to engage in an agreement that aims to help all parties achieve the desired results. 

We are all aware that it is becoming more and more difficult for different actors to face development challenges alone: strategic relationships are becoming vital to deliver development results. 

Under this frame, how can IATI expand strategic partnerships? 

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Si nous parlons de transparence de l'aide internationale, il fallait d'abord créer les institutions ODD dans toutes les communes, créé au niveau sous-régional et national, créer un conseil anti-corruption de la société civile pour la formation de la société civile, du personnel des centres ODD et résoudre les problèmes entre les paires pour éviter les actions militaires de l'Etat qui bloqueront  les innovations de la société civile immature dans la gestion des affaires publiques. Les services anti-corruption de l'État interviendront sur invitation du conseil de la société civile pour situer les responsabilités, 

Project Control Project Control Project Management Project: Project Statistics, Projects Social, Projects Human Development, Economic Development and Economic Projects. Les formations anti-corruption aux personnels, aux volontaires, aux partenaires privés et aux prises de mesures correctives peuvent être énormes pour lutter contre la corruption et atteindre les objectifs de développement durable.

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Dear Director Sossouga: 

Thank you so mucho for bringing the focus on national and subnational or subregional levels. 

It is key to analyze the relationships-or even, partnerships-between these levels and the role government actors and civil society play in using and disseminating IATI. 

How can strategic partnerships between national and subnational levels be fostered in order for IATI to b eimplemnetedd and used by different actors? 

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Dear all: excuse the typo; I wrote “to be implemented”!

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Selon la hiérarchie, le premier responsable de la mise en œuvre de ODD est l'office national. Elle doit approuver tout projet avec budget détaillé des communes et ordonner le transfert aux centres ODD, avec copie au comité ODD municipale, autorité de suivi et d'évaluation locale.

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

La copie est donnée à l'Office dsous régional pour l'information, la surveillance, l'intervention régionale et des rapports Synthèse.

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Pour la diffusion de l'IITA, les gouvernements on créé les services anti-corruption, mais normalement la société civile doit créer un conseil de la société civile pour les formations sur l'IITA. Ce conseil de la société civile aura pour mission de régler les problèmes de la société civile en matière d'IITA et c'est en cas de dépassement que le service anti-corruption du gouvernement peut intervenir.

Cette disposition permet à la société civile de travailler librement. Le rôle d'innovations, de créativités et d'engagement continu pour la mise en œuvre d'ODDs à tous les niveaux et la limite de pouvoir du gouvernement sur la société civile qui devrait être à sla première utilisation de l'aide publique.

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Thank you, Director Sossouga for this very clear example of institutional arrangements that foster an enabling environment for civil society to work freely. As you mention, innovation, creativity and ongoing commitment in different partners is part of the formula.

This is where capacity development and training come into the scene: definitely, this should be fundamental in the IATI Strategic Plan. What is IATI and why it is important, how to use IATI and how IATI contributes to data for development as well as to the open data movement are essential contents for a capacity development program.    

How can partnerships help a capacity development program for different actors at different levels? Can south-south Cooperation support the implementation of training programs under the frame of the Strategic Plan that is to be prepared soon?

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Si le développement des capacités n'atteint pas tous les niveaux et tous acteurs, comment  peuvent ils avoir le  même niveau de compréhension des choses? La coopération Sud-Sud doit être aussi soumis au même principe

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Pour bien mesurer la transparence, il faut des grilles salariales pour la société civile au niveau national, sous-régional et au niveau de la commune: le comité ODD au niveau de la commune sera une autorité traditionnelle, une autorité religieuse, d'un représentant des comités villageois de développement, représentant des organisations de la société civile et du maire) et le personnel des centres ODD dans les communes.

Un exemple de données pour le personnel de l'office national.

Les propositions de bases de données peuvent être élaborées dans chaque pays avec la grille de l'Office national.

Ex: la grille de l'ONG: ADET

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Definitely, all the valuable inputs and examples so far show that the 2019-2022 IATI Strategic Plan should consider strategic partnerships at the subnational, national and regional levels. 

Partnerships come in place when-after engaging in dialogue-actors identify common challenges and shared goals. Perhaps one more question comes to mind: what are those “ingredients” that make partnerships strategic?

How can IATI and its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan foster and strengthen strategic partnerships?

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

D'abord au niveau de l'office national ODD avec le partenariat au niveau national, il faut un conseil de la société civile qui aura, en sein, une équipe anti-corruption IITA. Cette équipe a été conçue pour le 'développement durable, les contours de la corruption, la compréhension et la reconnaissance des innovations, les créativités de la société civile qu'elle encourage ou puni.

Pour atteindre les objectifs d'ici 2030, les formations se sont elles-mêmes indispensables pour que tout le monde soit pour la réussite totale de la mise en œuvre de l'agenda 2030.

Attaché de modèle de l'ADET

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Autres ingrédients est le personnel du centre ODDs au niveau de la commune.

Chaque centre ODD sera coordonné par un coordonnateur de niveau universitaire. Il est assisté d'un responsable de développement social, d'un responsable de développement économique et d'un responsable de développement environnemental, d'un secrétaire de direction, d'un comptable, des animateurs et des volontaires.

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Le responsable du développement social enregistre: personnes âgées, personnes handicapées, migrants, peuples autochtones, enfants vulnérables et femmes et filles vulnérables et autres minorités.

Ne laisser personnes de côté.

Il est chargé d'assister ces groupes de population.

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Le responsable du développement économique identifie les opportunités d'activités économiques de la commune et organise la population autour de ces activités. Lutte pour éradiquer la pauvreté, la faim dans la commune. La promotion industrielle, l'Agro industrie. La promotion du commerce et le transfert de la technologie.

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Responsable du développement environnemental, de l'énergie renouvelable à tous, encouragez la résilience environnementale, le transport moderne, le reboisement, la lutte contre la pollution, le changement climatique et la promotion de la biodiversité aquatique et terrestre.

Aria Grabowski • Senior Policy Advisor at OXFAM AMERICA from United States

1. Should IATI do more to engage with actors such as South-South Cooperation providers, climate financiers and the private sector? Are there other actors or processes that IATI should engage with, and if yes, what will it take to engage them?

If funding is going towards development activities (which includes responding to humanitarian crisis) it should be included in IATI.  How proactively IATI is able to recruit participation by all actors is a different question but if we are to have transparent information that helps support the the achievement of sustainable development outcomes that is most effective when ALL actors can pull in one coordinated direction, so everyone has to be included.  

  • If the scale of strategic partnerships broadens to incorporate emerging development actors, how will this impact IATI’s governance structure? What institutional changes should be considered to ensure that IATI is inclusive, responsive, and fit-for-purpose?

Its possible additional groups need to be added like south south providers to the governance structure.  For DFI's and private sector funders I don't know that it makes sense for there to be seperate groups outside of donors, but maybe if they reached some critical mass that should happen.  As different groups will have different needs and requirements for the standard there may need to be working groups on addressing some specific different needs for DFI's, private sector partners, or others, like being able to note type of financing and terms of that financing. For example is it equity, if so is it a permanent stake, or once 110% of the investment has been earned the investor will divest. 

There are also would have to be a concerted effort to ensure that as new actors join they do not to try to make this a check box activity for positive points, but about providing useful, usable information and working to make sure it is also used.  There may need to be a standard set of information that you have to be willing to disclose to be able to join.  For example who is receiving the funds (obviously with exceptions for security risks), the details of the goals of the project, the location of work, amounts, time frame, etc.  

  • The scale of strategic partnerships would also impact current IATI’s business model (membership fee-based). What considerations and measures will be
  • needed to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of IATI?
  • How can we persuade publishers to become members?

2. How can IATI’s outreach be improved to contribute more to the ongoing discussions in the data for development space, including the open data for sustainable development movement?

I think this outreach needs to be outside of the data space, IATI is meant for everyone not just data nerds.  I think this means doing cool things with the information to show people how cool this really is and how they can use it for their needs--have a question about how often local partners are included in projects, IATI can help with that, here is an example of when that was done.  Members and others can do the work, maybe with funding from IATI and then IATI can work to help promote, maybe even provide comms support to sum up long reports into easily read summaries (two pages max).  Other members could maybe work to share finds more broadly with networks outside of the IATI community.  We need to stop telling people what IATI is and start showing them what IATI does.  

3. Given the evolving international development landscape, where should IATI’s primary outreach focus be placed over the next 3-5 years?  Are there specific regions, sectors or audiences that should be prioritised? How can they be reached / involved? 

Generally I think the focus of outreach should be on expanding use, expanding use, and expanding use.  By use I DO NOT mean publishing, I mean using the information provided through IATI for coordination, learning, improving effectiveness, or accountability.

More specifically, I do think there is a blind spot for gender with IATI and I think there is the potential for IATI to be a really cool actor in this space. Plus according to the World Economic Forum gender inequality is here to stay for 100 plus years so there will be a long term need to work on it.  Additionally, it is a cross cutting issues that should be in almost all assistance regardless of sector or funding type. By making the policy markers searchable IATI became the first place you can go to look at the quality of gender projects, which is pretty ground breaking.  The community could build on this and try to work with gender experts around the world to create standardized gender indicators that could be included in IATI so that on this massive cross cutting issue that can drive better development outcomes and create a more stable and prosperous world could truly be coordinated across actors.  Not to mention it could drive more accountability around gender equality commitments. 

theo van de sande • Chair GB IATI at """MFA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands""" from Netherlands

I like the idea to stop telling what IATI is (or should be) and instead start showing what we do (in order to learn and improve to keep us relevant). It is very much in line with the notion that the distinction between IATI publisher and IATI data user has become redundant and the irrelevance of ODA as a meaningful concept for IATI. If we are really aiming for transparency and learning for development support with a view to realising the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the origin of the support (whether intended or not) is irrelevant.Let's get rid of constituents thinking in IATI and only think in terms ofIATI as a community among equal partners.

Also very much like the idea on focusing on IATI for coordination, learning and improving effectiveness in development support, though I would certainly provide space for making choices and/or setting priorities in order not to loose ourselves in generalisations. Specific requirements with a view to eg gender, human rights, humanitarian should drive us forward in more specific directions.

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Aria has shared an important reflection: thank you for the ideas! 

First of all, a relevant principle is that if any kind of funding is contributing to dvelopment activities, then it should be included in IATI. This includes funds destined for humanitarian crisis!

I specially like the phrase “IATI is meant for everyone, not just data nerds!”! This is not a light phrase; it encompasses the ample scope and the different needs IATI must respond to. It also implies that the outreach should occur outside of data technocrats and fora. In short: we are facing the need of new business model for IATI!

For example, South-south providers should be part of the governance structure of IATI. Working groups can address needs and requirements of south-south partners and others, such as private sector or even equity actors. An important question still remains: how can IATI recruit these actors? Which should be the “differentiated” roles and responsibilities, if this is applicable? Evidently, dialogue channels have to open in this direction.

Ensuring useful and usable information that is used efficiently by different stakeholders and partners  is what we are all looking for! Project goals, who are the beneficiaries and where they are; who is receiving the funding in which location are some of the essential information criteria. 

We must never forget nor should we wander away from the overarching goal: ensure transparent information that can support the achievement of sustainable development results. 

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Another powerful phrase that Aria puts on our table today is this one: “we must stop telling people what IATI is; we must start showing them what it does”. How true! What is the best way to show the world out their what IATI does? Who should be showing what IATI does? 

Certainly, publishing information is not a synonym of using the information.IATI information should be used strategically to strengthen dialogue and coordination and improve learning and mutual accountability among different actors, just as the Busan Outcome Document proposed in 2011.

If we have gone all the way required to publish information, then we must also make sure that the info we pusblished is being used by different actors and audiences. How can we “monitor” the use of the info that is being published? How can we all make sure IATI covers a gender ”blind spot” in the development world?

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

We need to create standardized gender indicators to include in IATI! When do we start? Who volunteers to be part of this important and relevant task? 

:-)

Lidia Fromm Cea • Directora Ejecutiva (Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica) at Proyecto de Integración y Desarrollo Mesoamérica from El Salvador Moderator

Theo Van De Sande: I couldn’t agree more! Let’s make sure we evolve to start considering IATI as a live community of equal partners! 

IATI as a living, horizontal partnership!

Taryn Davis

I agree that we need to include other actors that provide non-traditional development assistance. However, I think one of the challenges in using data is the disconnect between publishers and the users. For example, the challenge of using IATI data in country systems would have been easier of development partner country offices had been included in the process of decided what to publish/how. Not only are we mapping IATI to AIMS, but we are having to map each country offices data first to IATI so that it makes sense to them and they're comfortable with it, then mapping IATI to AIMS. As IATI begins to include new publishers and actors, the users need to be included in the publishers review of publishing data, and clear use cases prepared so that there is an end goal of use rather than just publishing. 

Publish What You Fund Team • from United Kingdom

Should IATI do more to engage with actors such as South-South Cooperation providers, climate financiers and the private sector?

Please see our broader strategic points under discussion one.

While we fundamentally agree with this in principle we need to get the IATI house in order first before expanding the stakeholder map. This engagement must be based on a system that works and where data is readily accessible if it is to succeed.

yohanna.loucheur@international.gc.ca

Very much agree with this. The priority should be to deliver on core business. Let's not spend too much energy chasing new types of publishers. If there is demand for the data, they will gravitate towards IATI.

Ole Jacob Hjøllund

First of all, we must realise that we are not alone. Whatever we do, we must keep our focus and recognise our limitations – and offer our strengths as assistance to other initiatives that approach the same agenda from other angles.

Inclusion of new publishers should not be considered strategic partnerships. Any actor that wishes to publish their activities in support of SDG’s should be welcome to use the IATI-standard, without any need to change governance structure nor business model.

I think we should restrict the use of the term ‘strategic partners’ to cover the efforts/initiatives we recognise, that (explicitly or not) shares our vision and provides a standardised approach to deliver (collect and process) such good information. New partners, that are willing to publish themselves, are just partners – not strategic partners.

In this sense, we need to recognise one strategic partner that may develop to become the most important strategic partner, since the vision is so clearly the same as IATI, while the mission is complementing, not overlapping: The TOSSD. This statistical instrument (or measurement framework, as it is called) has been initiated by the OECD (DAC) as a response to the 2030 agenda, but it is still not decided where it will be hosted.

TOSSD and IATI could form a very strong alliance, and the emerging TOSSD-reporting standard is a very interesting gamechanger that allows us to revitalise the idea of the ‘common standard’. But more about that in discussion 3.

The vision is the same, and the respective missions of TOSSD and IATI fits each other like a glove – the strengths of one corresponds with the weaknesses of the other. There is, however, a risk as well, looking forward. If the alliance between IATI and TOSSD is not forged within the next strategic period, then the most likely result will be rivalry and waste of scarce resources; IATI will need to develop a very TOSSD-like frontend to present data in a useful way, and TOSSD will need to develop a very IATI-like standard for data-collection.

Steven Flower • from United Kingdom

I can only offer a snippet here - lifted from a book about a different data standard (the visa card!) 

"the will to succeed, the grace to compromise"

I think this is the stance those involved in the initiative need to observe.  As others have pointed out, we need to understand that we are not alone, and cannot achieve everything through one action. 

This may involve us evaluating how relevant or useful parts of IATI are, and making compromises, in order to succeed.

Rachel Rank • CEO at 360Giving from United Kingdom

I completely agree with this comment, which I think is about IATI being part of a wider ecosystem. As someone who was involved in IATI and Open Contracting in their early stages and now runs another open data initiative called 360Giving, I'd like to see more engagement across open data standards around common issues. For example, we all struggle with similar data infrastructure issues. Rather than address these separately and risk setting up parallel approaches, I'd like to see more collaboration around the technical challenges we face. If we don't address fundamental issues such as how organisation identifiers are used, then it will make it hard to use different but complementary datasets in a meaningful way. For example, if you want to look at a grant or a contract issued by the World Bank, UNDP, DFID or MinBuza, it will be much easier to identify the organisations receiving the contract or grant if they are identified in the same way. I encourage the technical work on IATI to think more about:

a) what collective asset it is building as part of an ecosystem of open data standards; and

b) its role within that ecosystem and how it relates to others in terms of sharing its approach and how that might impact others.

There is still some fundamental work to be done on ensuring IATI data is as useful as possible, and a more consistent approach to organisation identifiers is key to this. Here is an example from the UK that explains the importance of this: http://www.threesixtygiving.org/2018/05/21/little-unique-codes-hold-wor…

Nathan Coplin • Senior Policy Advisor at Oxfam from United States

I would like to add a short comment/recommendation regarding the first question about other actors or spaces that IATI should be engaging. The Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) is an actor that IATI really needs to engage. The ATI has created a data portal for the Domestic Revenue Mobilization (DRM) sector: https://drm.taxcompact.net/project-map.

This portal shares only financial information, basic information about donor and country and a short description of projects in DRM sector - with no links to project documents or other valuable information that is available through IATI portals (like d-portal).  And of course, this data portal only draws from OECD CRS and direct reporting from donors to ATI, which means data is lagging two years (and discrepancies have been persistent). It would be really valuable to work with ATI to overlay IATI data (although incomplete) to give a more up-to-date picture about DRM activities and projects in countries. Obviously, this is vital for not only stakeholders in the country but also for donor coordination. The other problem is that it currently has gaps on data related to multilateral institutions, but this is something that the ATI is addressing and expects to have data shared from IMF (so this could be potentially a space for collaboration).

I track the DRM sector quite closely, and work with my colleague [~55567] (who is really engaged at IATI, as you probably know) to use IATI to build a fuller picture on DRM.

yohanna.loucheur@international.gc.ca

This is a really interesting suggestion for a real-life, actual use case where "how can IATI data help you in your existing work" would apply!  

As a side benefit, having the ATI use IATI data to populate the database may help publishers of the value of using the 5-digit CRS+ purpose codes (as opposed to the 3-digit codes), a level of detail required to identify DRM activities.   

David Silva Parra • Program Manager at SPIDER from Sweden

Dear all,

In terms of engaging partners I belive that IATI should work on connecting the work and result of activites to the SDG. A partnership with the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) would be needed in this case. 

I think IATI should consider building a user friendly and flexible reporting system for development organisations that incorporates reporting to IATI with blogg like features so that projects have webpages. IATI could gain revenue through licensing or even donations.     

I think IATI should find a solution to allowing to hide sensitive information when reporting activities. 

David Silva

MJ. Eeckhout • economist at MInbuza from Netherlands

Item 1 It is crucial to include the implementers from new emerging development partners to get to grips with the volumes of support (grants, debt-creating and technical instruments) that are not reported to OECD/DAC but still have major impact on the available resources in developing countries to make progress towards attaining the SDG’s in 2030. As mentioned in the above, a top-down approach (or government to government approach) doesnot work because of old patterns and habits. As mentioned in the above, the OECD/DAC outreach to the UN on the new concept of the TOSSD fell on deaf ears because of this.  I guess a bottom up approach from the implementers to the providers will quickly give the entire development community a better insight in the major shift in financial resources coming from emerging partners. 

Item 3 I imagine that the audiences who keep a close watch on certain specific SDG’s are the ones most in need and eager to use the open data concerning and organized along the lines of SDG targets, in order to publish visualizations of the data in their brochures which reach the broader audience in the development community.

MJ. Eeckhout • economist at MInbuza from Netherlands

ok

Javier Bernal Recinos • MSc Public Administration at Leiden University from Netherlands

1. Should IATI do more to engage with actors such as South-South Cooperation providers, climate financiers and the private sector? Are there other actors or processes that IATI should engage with, and if yes, what will it take to engage them?

First, from a global perspective, engaging with South-South cooperation actors is not just strategic, but also coherent with IATI’s vision and mission. Such partnerships should aim for enhancing/increasing the resources, capacities, and tools of multiple actors in the Global South. As also described in the external scanning paper of this consultation, the contribution of (potential) partners in IATI should not be constrained to financial matters. The information that can be retrieved from South partner’s experience is valuable to the multiple challenges and pressures faced within contexts with fragile institutions. Second, from an organizational view, by expanding the scope of IATI’s focus, it is plausible to foresee an increase of its relevance and the strengthening of IATI’s prestige among current and potential members. 

    In order to engage with South-South cooperation actors, I consider that IATI’s platform should be adapted to the reality and context faced by such actors. For this, IATI should increase its presence in a variety of spaces shared by the organizations/actors targeted. I would advise IATI not to limit its partnerships with groups who belong to the wealthiest or powerful spheres in such countries, who typically control or define the standards that should be followed by domestic actors in terms of accountability.  The former is important for IATI not to be considered a requirement for actors/organizations in terms of transparency, but also a reliable partner that understands their reality and needs. Consequently, IATI must develop a decentralized mapping of actors in these countries and engage in the networks trusted by the potential partners/members of IATI. 

2. How can IATI’s outreach be improved to contribute more to the ongoing discussions in the data for development space, including the open data for sustainable development movement?

Although it is undeniable that open data might enhance sustainable development, it is also important to be careful in not centralizing data and knowledge. In this line, I consider that these efforts should involve multiple actors such as universities, think tanks, SCO’s, that can spread out knowledge and information on several levels. For instance, more efforts should be made to strengthen empirical scientific research done by these actors the Global South. The former might open the discussion on the use of data to more actors and groups in society (i.e., decentralization of data and knowledge). Such data and knowledge decentralization are essential to use data in favor of closing inequality and resources gaps rather than increasing them. This argument is particularly salient in the context of some countries in the Global South where small fractions of society have access to information that enhances their development, whereas a higher number of people does not have access to the most basic public services like water, or electricity. In my view.

3. Given the evolving international development landscape, where should IATI’s primary outreach focus be placed over the next 3-5 years?  Are there specific regions, sectors or audiences that should be prioritized? How can they be reached/involved? 

In general, I consider that IATI should put more focus on democratizing the data available (and promoting its use) in society groups contributing to SDG’s that do not have access to IATI’s. Rather than pushing them back, I consider it vital to encourage more organizations to increase their networks and use data in favor of their work. To do this, it is essential to take into account the needs of such actors with a bottom-up, context-based approach. Rather than a rigid stand, IATI must transform into a dynamic, multi-level platform who promote co-production processes (see Brandsen, T. & M. Honingh, 2016) and multi-stakeholder’s partnerships.

Andie Vaughn

Responding for USAID, U.S. Department of State, and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC):

IATI should do more to engage with a broader range of actors; however, this should include ensuring more data is published in the IATI registry, more actors are aware of IATI, and a broader range of actors are considering membership.  This engagement should not include modifications and expansions of the IATI standard.

As a broader range of actors is engaged and considering membership, it will be important to ensure that the constituencies that make up IATI membership evolve to ensure that all voices are heard.

    • We strongly support continuing a membership-fee based structure.
    • The membership incentives should be curated around support, validation, and use support. 

At the 2018 Members’ Assembly, members overwhelmingly voiced that raising awareness and improving data quality are critical to increasing membership.  Additionally, we should target South-South cooperators for membership and work with other initiatives (eg the Grand Bargain example) to ensure commitment and use of IATI data.  IATI has the precedent of a constituency (NGO/private sector) being divided when sub-types reached critical mass. We want to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in fundraising to complement the member fee base.

Regarding outreach:  Given the increased emphasis on data use in the open data for sustainable development movement, it would be beneficial for IATI’s outreach to focus more on applying data to strategic problems and sharing stakeholders’ experiences working with IATI data. Some outreach activities should entail convening donors and recipients to discuss specific examples when they have used IATI data in decision-making and how IATI data benefits them.  It would be beneficial for members and publishers to log this information – for example, a repository of use cases would be very helpful in continuing to “sell” the initiative to others.

Regarding the next 3-5 years:  At this point in time, we believe IATI should focus on partner countries to continue to build awareness, understanding, and use of IATI and available data.  Additionally, this outreach will be better received with better tools – without a great datastore and visualization site, outreach will be much more difficult.

Saiful Ridwan

In the context of strategic partnerships with the private sector, and given the continuous need for IATI to use information technology (IT), would it not be useful for IATI have strategic partnerships with IT giants. In principal this will allow IATI to have access to latest IT and emerging technologies to carry out IATI's data management (capture, store, process, analyse, disseminate) challenges.I attended the last TAG meeting in Kathmandu where Microsoft Philanthropies did a presentation, and to my understanding was ready to assist IATI. Othe IT giants I imagine would also be interested.

Global Dev Hub Admin • Admin at Global Dev Hub from United States

Posting this on behalf of Kabura Junie, Assistante en Base de Données Suivi-Evaluation des Programmes, Secrétariat Permanent du Comité National de Coordination des Aides "SP/CNCA", Burundi:

Oui. Les partenariats stratégique de l’IITA est en pleine évolution. Ce partenariat devra être amélioré davantage en créant des cellules IITA au niveau des pays partenaires. 

Il faut aussi un renforcement des capacités des utilisateurs des données de l’IITA

Natalia Magradze • Operations Officer - Transparency and AI at The World Bank from United States

1. Should IATI do more to engage with actors such as South-South cooperation providers, climate financiers and the private sector? Are there other actors or processes that IATI should engage with, and if yes, what will it take to engage them?

In terms of adapting the standard, focus should remain on reporting resources that are explicitly allocated for development cooperation purposes. Similarly, focus should be on accommodating partners that are or can be obliged to report data.

2. How can IATI’s outreach be improved to contribute more to the ongoing discussions in the data for development space, including the open data for sustainable development movement?

Initiatives, such as Open Data or Open Government Partnership, naturally lend themselves as partners to learn from and seek not only the technical solutions together but also how to serve the development community better as they share the same common objective of open and transparent data for development. Complex and prevalent issues such as capacity and need for training could be a good start to work on together.

3. Given the evolving international development landscape, where should IATI’s primary outreach focus be placed over the next 3-5 years?  Are there specific regions, sectors or audiences that should be prioritised? How can they be reached / involved?

IATI brings coherence to aid management, however many partner countries don’t use it for its intended purposes. To this end, raising awareness on how IATI standard can be helpful in managing the aid flows would be valuable and increase the uptake. Strong communications and outreach efforts to boarder audience would be useful as well.

Daniel Gamboa • Specialist in Development Cooperation at UNDP from Mexico

1. Should IATI do more to engage with actors such as South-South Cooperation providers, climate financiers and the private sector? Are there other actors or processes that IATI should engage with, and if yes, what will it take to engage them?

South-South Co-operation (SSC) is called to play an increasingly significant role towards the achievement of the SDGs, based upon technical and knowledge exchange of public policy solutions that are more context relevant. In this sense, innovative approaches become key to measure, track and assess SSC -and its intended impact- in ways that reflect its diversity and specificities (bilateral SSC, trilateral SSC and regional SSC, among other efforts by Southern providers).

Since the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Co-operation among Developing Countries (1978), there´s been recognition of the relevance to strengthen the gathering, processing and dissemination of information regarding SSC activities. Some Upper Middle Income Countries have made strides in recent years by establishing their own SSC information systems, mainly in Latin-America where regional bodies, like the Ibero-American Secretariat (SEGIB), support the pooling and publishing of information but just at the aggregate level, and PDF formats (not very open). However, there is still plenty of room to improve the collection, accessibility and use of data regarding SSC. Same goes for the interoperability between national and regional information systems.

Ten years ago, IATI emerged, in a grassroots fashion, from a network of communities of practice -within development organizations- with common challenges. The IATI internal reflection is not far from true by stating that Southern providers perceive IATI as overly focused on aid and finance, and not an appropriate way of publishing relevant data on their non-financial contributions. So, What would be the common challenges between the IATI community and the SSC providers at the forefront on  SSC data management of for multi-stakeholder dialogue and evidence-based decision making? 

Ole Jacob Hjøllund

Just one last entry, with an attachment that has just arrived: If anyony in this community should be in NY, and able to find the time, I'm sure that it would be worthwhile to ensure that all participants are aware that the IATI datastandard is the perfect match; this statistical endeavour needs a recognised, international datastandard in order to collect the open data available, to sustain our shared vision of quality-information on SDG-funding.

Global Dev Hub Admin • Admin at Global Dev Hub from United States

Posting on behalf of Mishiko Seino, Programme Officer, Performance Management & Accountability, Field Results Group, UNICEF:​​​​​​​

UNICEF comments:

  • For IATI to be successful and inclusive of all actors, there is a need to be looking at emerging actors in development which means we should broaden the scope beyond aid (e.g. procurement and investments). Also, the SDGs are a great entry point for private sector organizations, and establishing IATI data as a ‘marketplace’ for development and humanitarian data (similar to any other market platform) would be valuable to monitor and assess the contributions they make in the country.
Global Dev Hub Admin • Admin at Global Dev Hub from United States

Please find below consolidated input from the European Commission, received from Andrea Saviola:

1. Should IATI do more to engage with actors such as South-South Cooperation providers, climate financiers and the private sector? Are there other actors or processes that IATI should engage with, and if yes, what will it take to engage them?

IATI should facilitate the engagement of all implementing partners (also the smaller ones for the sake of completeness of information in the aid delivery cycle). The issue of traceability of funds and ways to ensure it (including how to facilitate the link between outgoing funds from donors and incoming funds implemented by the partners).

2. How can IATI’s outreach be improved to contribute more to the ongoing discussions in the data for development space, including the open data for sustainable development movement?​​​​​​​

The reflection paper on IATI current state refers to the management and maintenance of the d-portal as an agreed priority. The improvement of the d-portal is a priority agreed at the last Members’ Assembly Meeting and is the way to demonstrate IATI commitment to use of data. Without a performing d-portal there is no increase in data use and there is no point in expanding the coverage of IATI activity beyond ODA even if this could be relevant in the context of the 2030 Agenda.