IATI the international open data campaign on development aid

Fecha de la noticia: 03-11-2017

IATI, datos abiertos, ayuda al desarrollo

The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) is a global campaign established by high level bodies who work in international development cooperation within the “Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness”, held in Accra, Ghana, in 2008. It is a campaign aimed at publishing open data of information on development aid. Automatically, it increases transparency (when making the information more accessible, easier to use and to understand) and all this with the aim of increasing the impact and effectiveness of aid to help reduce poverty.

People who work in development cooperation have difficulty accessing information on aid. This information, which is provided by the main sources of existing data (such as the  Creditor Reporting System, CRS , AidData, Aid Information Management Systems, AIMS) managed by each government, the annual reports from donors or NGO and foundations reports), may be correct, but often it is not up to date or does not contain sufficient details to respond to the needs of the different users.

To meet its objective, the initiative IATI established a series of tools needed:

►  To produce and agree on a common and open standard for publishing data on development aid IATI standard, which includes agreements on what information to publish, formats and common definitions.

►  To establish an online IATI registry as a directory to locate data on aid, aimed at users of websites of the participating donors.

Currently, the IATI registry has indexed over 750,000 activities (projects), with almost 600 organisations publishing data. In total, over 5GB of information on development aid. 

The IATI standard succeeds two prior standardisation efforts: the Common Exchange Format for Development Activities CEFDA (established since1991) and International Development Markup Language IDML (established since 1998). In the IATI initiative multiple actors can participate: donor organisations (for example, publishing their information), developing countries (for example, using the information to plan aid to be received) and civil society organisations (for example, participating in queries to the IATI initiative).

The IATI registry has currently indexed over 750,000 activities (projects), with almost 600 organisations publishing data, making in total over 5GB of information on aid. Some of the organisations who publish data include the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Spanish Cooperation Agency for International Development  (AECID) and the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Beneficiaries: from governments of developing countries to journalists and researchers


To conclude, it is important to highlight the multiple beneficiaries of this initiative: 

  • Governments of developing countries are able to plan their budgets and activities by knowing how much aid is destined for their country and when these funds are to be released.
  • Citizens have tools to check if their governments are meeting their promises regarding development aid.
  • Donors are able to coordinate their costs with other donors.
  • Grassroots organisations knowing the available resources, the aims of this aid and having the capacity to influence how it is used.
  • Activities against corruption who want to monitor aid (receiving and expenses on behalf of receiving countries), in order to know if funds are diverted.
  • Journalists and research personnel who want to study the destination of the aid and their efficiency.