OCHA signs up to Data Transparency Initiative
(New York/Geneva, 20 Dec 2012) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has signed up to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), and is now presenting information about aid contributions in a format that is compatible with industry standards and in line with other open data initiatives.
IATI is a multi-stakeholder initiative that has brought together donors, aid-recipient governments, civil society and aid information experts to agree on a common, open, international standard for publishing information about humanitarian and development aid.
“Signing up to the International Aid Transparency Initiative is a significant step towards greater accountability and data usability,” said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “It is a demonstration of OCHA’s commitment to transparency, which is crucial for monitoring our impact and improving our effectiveness.”
Aid data is widely used by governments for planning and financial management, as well as to improve coordination. Civil society organizations and the general public in both recipient and donor countries analyze data to improve their understanding of how and where humanitarian aid money is being used to save lives and help people in need.
OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS) has been publishing data on international humanitarian aid reported by donors and recipient organizations for the past 20 years. By working with IATI and meeting its standards, data reported to FTS will become more accessible, allowing technical users to convert the information into databases, spreadsheets, web applications, printed documents and data visualizations.
OCHA signed up to IATI in August, and began providing data according to its standard in mid-December. There are now 35 IATI signatories, including donors, multilateral organizations and UN agencies, and 22 developing country governments have endorsed IATI.
“We encourage all humanitarian organizations to explore ways of collaborating with open data initiatives,” said Ms. Amos.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.