The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) was formed out of a meeting on aid effectiveness held at Accra in 2009.In it, the donors agreed to public information regularly on funding, associated conditionalities and 3-5 year projection of funding. The reports are hosted by the donors in structured XML files in their own websites with a link to the IATI registry at

I did a quick review of the information on the registry.  The database allowed me to filter files by organization, country and an assortment of other criteria.  Most of the data was provided at the aggregate level on the total funds allotted to specific projects with information on what was promised, how much has been disbursed, etc.  One file had information on the location of the activity using geocodes.  It was not clear what proportion of the activities of the donors were reported for countries or for that matter for specific projects.

From a very quick look, it is not clear what one can do with this data beyond putting it on a map and visualizing it.  Some sense of where the activities are located would certainly be useful – but I wonder how useful they would be if the location of the projects is not detailed enough for us to exactly locate where it was implemented.  It would be interesting to get information on who uses the data available here, and what uses the information has been put to.  Specifically, has it been used to make any recipient accountable through the use of transparency.


About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.