As all the data that donors are reporting on is open, for the people implementing IATI tools it would be very beneficial if all locations would refer to OSM entities. This would make it much much easier for Reporting Organisations to keep some kind of referential integrity when reporting on previously funded locations. (like schools, medical centers etc.) I think this is a quite crucial aspect of what IATI aims to achieve. So far IATI is designed to monitor time&budget demarkated Activities, but the impact on consecutive activities on 1 location is rather hard to achieve.
In the current IATI model there is only 1 potential place where (financial) activities reported by different reporting organisations can be tied together, and that is the Location.
In the long run, when we want to monitor real impact, re-using unique locations in separate activities allows us to do that.
And the Openstreetmap identifier is a perfect unique key to do so.
- A unique ID for every node/location. eg http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/node/1361167157 (yes, trivial)
- A history on all edits to this location
- A rollback mechanism for changes to this location
- A merge functionality in case a location is added twice
- A standard list of location types (what they call Features) that is extensible by a crowdsourcing process (that is far more meaningful that the current http://iatistandard.org/codelists/location_type
- A tag for office, which allows for project head-offices to have a location too. http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:office
- and Global Coverage
I think it would be interesting to have a discussion on this, see if we can incorporate this as a good practice, and perhaps in a future version introduce a (mandatory) field in the location for the osm id.