Transparency take 2 – Oxfam publishes its second batch of IATI-compliant data
Paul Clough Head of International Finance
9th Aug 2012
As Oxfam GB publishes its second batch of IATI-compliant data, Paul Clough explains our motivation for signing up to the transparency initiative.
Back in November of 2011 ahead of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Oxfam GB became one of the first INGOs to publish our programme data to IATI, the International Aid Transparency Initiative standard.
The IATI standard was agreed in February 2011 when donors, developing country governments, civil society and aid information experts agreed on a common, open, international standard for publishing more, and better, information about aid. IATI's aim is that those involved in aid programmes will be able to better track what aid is being used for and what it is achieving. Improved transparency should help partner governments to manage aid resources more effectively and help to monitor effectiveness and even reduce the scope for corruption.
Today we're releasing our second batch of IATI-compliant data including financial year 2011/12, which for the first time includes information about our campaigns, as well as our international projects. The new data covers 1,343 projects in 56 countries and is available as an Excel file on this website or in XML from the IATI registry.
Some projects have been omitted from publication to avoid any risk to staff security or harm to our operations. The criteria for the exclusions from publication are outlined in our Open Information Policy.
The motivation behind publishing our data in this way is to improve understanding of our work and our accountability. We are committed to being accountable to our key stakeholders, in particular people living in poverty and believe that ultimately greater transparency will improve the quality of aid, for the good of both donors and beneficiaries.
In addition to the data we are sharing today, we're also aware of the need to publish relevant project documents. In 2010 we made a selection of programme evaluations public for the first time. There are now 102 evaluation reports available to download from our website. We expect this number to grow as we strive to implement our Evaluations Policy and be increasingly transparent about the impact of our programmes.
Making sense of the numbers
There is growing awareness, including within the UK Government, that just dumping 'raw' data isn't enough for transparency, and the open nature of the IATI data format means that third parties can mine the data to draw meaningful conclusions from it.
Since we published our first batch of data, a number of tools and applications have been developed using IATI data, including the AidView.net data visualisation platform. This tool enables users to filter data by sector, country and funder, it's an open source prototype and the authors are open to feedback about how the tool should be
developed in future.
The platform is worth exploring for anyone involved in aid information, whether at a research, policy or practitioner level. Or even if you're just an unashamed data fan!
Our work on IATI and Open Information
Download Oxfam programme data (XLS 469KB)
View Oxfam programme data in the IATI registry