IATI Consultations Archive

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Description type - extend the codelist

There has been a suggestion to extend the types of description allowed on elements from the 3 specifiedon the Description Type codelist. AKVO have suggested some ideas but we are not sure, and would welcome further community support in deciding what should be on an extended list, or whether this can be dealt with through an namespace as AKVO are doing already.

There is a short period time in this consultation phase to see if there is the desire for this to be worked into a full proposal for 1.03 or not.

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19 Comments

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    Brian Hammond

    It would need to allow for more than one description type per activity, especially if more types were added. Perhaps gain more experience through a namespace first?

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    Bill Anderson

    We suggest we come back to this in the next cycle to allow for a fuller discussion.

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    David Carpenter

    This is now bumped into the 1.04 process

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    David Carpenter

    ..and bumped again into 1.05. This is a lower priority to the other ideas that are to move forward, and the ground work still needs to be done.

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    David Carpenter

    Moving into 1.05 for further consideration.

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    Bill Anderson

    Could Akvo (and others) come up with some specific proposals?

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    Adrian Collier

    Certainly :)

    We are currently working with an extended Description Code list in order to accommodate all of the Akvo RSR fields within the IATI Standard. Where the standard covers 1-3, we have 1-10 that are as follows:

    1. General
    2. Objectives
    3. Target Group
    4. Subtitle
    5. Sujmmary of Project Plan (limited to 400 characters)
    6. Background
    7. Project Plan
    8. Goals Overview
    9. Current Status
    10. Sustainability

    These provide a good overview for the storytelling side of project presentation, that we have found our partners and the public can gain good insights into the activities being undertaken.

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    Roderick Besseling

    I would like to throw Cordaid's support behind Adrian's suggestion. Since we already use AKVO RSR, extending the Description Code list has already (unofficially) made our dataset so much more valuable in terms of story telling, reporting and re-use. 

    These additional descriptive fields also created more 'buy-in' from our project managers for the IATI standard as they saw the purpose of filling it in. 

    By using this list of 10 additional fields we have been able to populate our website, create track record documents, report to the foreign ministry and create organizational awareness of what we do. All of this, just from the one IATI file. 

     

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    Bill Anderson
    Adrian I think an RSR extension may be better to meet your specific needs
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    Cristián Mansilla Aguilera

    Would it be possible to add another category?, klet's say "other". We are currently using the match that each project has with each Strategic Objective (SO). I would like to specify both a general description and a the SO that project is working for.

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    David Carpenter

    Thanks for the suggestion Cristián - would you be able to illustrate your suggestion with an example, and a suggestion as to how the codelist should actually reflect your change? This list requires a code, a name for the code, and a description.

    Equally, Adrian, what would the descriptive text be for your suggestions?

     

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    Roderick Besseling

    Hi David,

    just to comment on your question to Adrian, we use the descriptive fields as following on our website. 

    https://www.cordaid.org/en/projects/reducing-the-impact-of-floods/111085/

    Each project on our website is loaded directly from our IATI file. We see IATI as a communication tool and we believe this could be one of the strengths of IATI. 

    We are currently also running a pilot with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see how IATI can replace a large part of our annual reporting to them. What is important for them is to also be able to get qualitative data from our datasets to help answer questions in parliament. 

     

     

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    Cristián Mansilla Aguilera

    Hi David:

    For example, the current Description Type Codelist (version 1.04) is:

     

    1 General Long description of the activity with no particular structure    
    2 Objectives Objectives for the activity, for example from a logical framework    
    3 Target Groups Statement of groups targeted to benefit from the activity

    I don't know if it makes sense to add more categories, since each organization has different needs in this sense. Then I would suggest to add a 4th category:

     

    4 Other  Any other classification or information that the organization provides to each activity. For ex, Strategic Objective, Product type, etc.

     

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    Adrian Collier

    From my view, I think an "Other" category would provide the common accepted structure to be able to adapt the RSR model into the IATI standard with little further work (just replacing the current namespace solution we have already implemented).

    However I also believe that potentially some more specific types of descriptions could be beneficial in guiding publishers to think about the type of information that they are presenting on their acitvities - after all, a lot of thought has gone into the data model of RSR and we would like to share the outcome of this to benefit all.

    So, taking these in turn I have come up with these descriptions of the descriptions:

    1. Subtitle - Brief overview or tag-line for an activity that compliments the title to provide some depth into the work being carried out.
    2. Summary () - Short description of the overall plan of the activity that allows the reader to grasp the objectives and methods.
    3. Background - A perspective looking at the existing context and environment that led to the need and creation of the activity.
    4. Project Plan - An in depth description of the activity plan being carried out, including the methods, technologies and resources being utilised.
    5. Goals Overview - A narrative explaining the results to be achieved within the activity.
    6. Current Status - An overview of where the activity stands at the time of writing or publication.
    7. Sustainability - Description of the longer term focus and how its benefits will be carried forwards after activity is compelted.
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    IATI Tech Team

    The IATI Tech team had a discussion on this issue yesterday. Our view is:

    • We should add "Other" as a code in 1.05
    • But we also think the addition of more free text elements should be considered in the 2.02 Upgrade consultation
      • To provide narratives for systems like RSR
      • To facilitate grantees reporting to donors (as part of the emerging argument that donors should accept that any data reported by a grantee to IATI should not need to be repeated in reports to donors.
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    IATI Tech Team

    To be added to Description Type codelist: http://iatistandard.org/codelists/DescriptionType/

    • 4 - Other  -  For miscellaneous use. A further classification or breakdown may be included in the narrative.

    For implementation details, follow:
    https://github.com/IATI/IATI-Codelists/issues/46

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    David Carpenter

    In the current codelist, French translations of the names of options are available.
    (see the source at: https://github.com/IATI/IATI-Codelists/blob/version-1.04/xml/DescriptionType.xml )

    Can anyone provide a suitable French translation for the value of 'Other'?

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    David Carpenter

    I have received the suggestion of 'Autre' as a suitable French translation of 'Other'

    Is this acceptable?

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    David Carpenter

    We've been advised that 'Autre' is acceptable.

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