Transparency helps to improve the effectiveness, accountability and trust in the international development and aid sector. Transparency matters for civil society across the world. Detailing the aims and activities of various aid programmes helps to make the sector more accessible for both tax payers in donor countries and citizens of the countries where the money is spent. It also enables donors to avoid duplication, co-ordinate funding efforts and evidence the work of governments towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
There are a number of tools and resources that can help you work to improve your organisation’s transparency and approach to sharing information:
- Bond have developed a step-by-step guide and template for creating an open information policy
- The Alliance and Bond co-developed a Transparency Review in 2014 to help organisations’ take an objective look at how they share information and compare their practices to peers
- The Guardian Global Development Professionals Network published a piece entitled ‘20 pre-requisites for transparency’ in 2013
The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) is a global open data standard used by international development and humanitarian organisations. Currently over 1,000 different organisations publish to IATI. Some government donors such as the UK and Dutch government require grantees and service providers to publish their data to IATI.
Publishing project data online using the global standard improves the transparency of development and humanitarian work, making the results of projects accessible to the public and press. For example, IATI published projects are visualised in charts and graphics by d-portal.
IATI data is also utilised by donor dashboards including the UK Government’s Development Tracker, the Dutch Government’s openaidNL, the Danish Government’s Danida OpenAid, the Swedish Government’s OpenAid, the USA Government Foreign Aid Explorer, and the European Commission’s EU Aid Explorer.
Many of our network members already publish their projects and programmes to IATI. Around 25 organisations within our network currently publish to IATI, you can view their profiles on d-portal to find out more about their funding sources, activities and results. Organisations include: ActionAid, British Red Cross, CBM, Christian Aid, Christian Engineers in Development, Disasters Emergency Committee, EMMS International, Feed the Minds, IOD PARC, Islamic Relief, Link Education 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.
There are a number of tools and guidance documents that can help you to familiarise yourself with and prepare your project data for IATI:
- IATI has produced a comprehensive guidance and support document about readying your organisation, preparing the data and finally publishing data to the standard
- DFID published IATI Guidelines in 2018 which include DFID’s transparency policy and a technical document detailing which fields need to be filled in, aimed at a technical/IT audience
- Bond has created a simple guide for charities ‘Using IATI: A guide for NGOs’ and offer a two week online course delivered with Humentum about publishing to IATI
- UNDP have created a self-paced online training course ‘Introduction to IATI’ which takes around 60 minutes to complete
- Aidstream is a free, online platform which can help you prepare your data and publish to IATI
Need more support on the topic of transparency or have questions about preparing your organisation to publish to IATI? Email the Effectiveness & Learning team.