AidData to make trillions of dollars in development assistance compatible with IATI standard

April 5, 2011Andrea Calabrese

By early May, users of the AidData database will be able to run queries on aid activities by donor, sector, and country, as before—but with a new twist. The results will be exportable in the new international aid reporting standard recently finalized by the International Aid Transparency Initiative, which aims to make aid information more open and accessible. The AidData database currently accounts for around $4 trillion in development activities funded by nearly 90 donor agencies between 1945 and 2010 - this feature will therefore instantly make a vast quantity of aid information compatible with the IATI standard. It will then be easier to mash up data on development activities with other types of information (such as development statistics, as in AidData’s prototype web app, Development Loop, created with support from Esri).

Although the information in the IATI exports will be incomplete, as it will depend on what is available in existing data sets, it will be an important step in allowing donors and aid information users to assess where the gaps are and what is needed to create a more comprehensive picture. “The IATI export feature will be a significant contribution to aid transparency,” said Stephen Davenport, Senior Director of Business Development at Development Gateway, one of the partner institutions behind AidData and a member of IATI’s Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Group. “We’re now one step closer to making aid information more easily comparable, so that donors and recipients can better coordinate activities and civil society can hold governments accountable for their aid promises.”