For the last few years, the government agencies of The Netherlands, UK and Belgium have led the way in the field of IATI, making it a requirement for aid recipients to publish their activities according to the standard. This has provided some great benefits, making it possible for example for the Dutch MoFa to make a higher level analysis of the results of their aid, answering questions such as: where does the money go, what results have been reported, and what policies does the aid focus on?
More EU countries and government agencies are joining in! Sweden has recently launched their open aid data portal. Denmark is running a pilot with a selected number of NGOs to see how the IATI standard can be used for reporting purposes, Germany is actively working on achieving its goals from their action plan for transparency of which using IATI is an integrated part. Several EU agencies are indicating to their fund recipients that they should start publishing their IATI data. More datasets from more countries means more possibility for coordination through IATI data.
We have observed that it is crucial in the process to not only publish IATI as a first step, but also to commit to improving capacity, both for the agency and its recipients. This means equipping policy officers and project staff with the basics of IATI, how to create insight based on IATI data, and how to create their own analysis of their portfolio. Additionally, those just starting in IATI will need support in order to achieve high quality and meaningful publications.
Last year we had the opportunity to support the Dutch Embassy in Beirut on building capacity on both sides with a training, and we look forward to continuing our work here in the EU!
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