Countries are based on the ISO Standard
Regions are based on the DAC Standard
There is no mapping on the IATI Standard website between countries and regions (to know which countries are in which regions).
The mapping that exists within the DAC only covers countries that are on the list of ODA Eligible Recipients.
The DAC Regions does not cover every region of the world
The DAC Regions list is not sufficiently disaggregated in certain circumstances to be meaningful
This is problematic for:
- organisations that allocate their aid regionally, but don’t internally use the language of official DAC regions. They need to know what is meant by a particular DAC region (what geographic area - which countries - it covers).
- organisations that allocate their aid to (common) regional areas that are smaller than the DAC region (e.g. Eastern Europe)
- organisations that allocate their aid to areas which are not covered by the official DAC regions list (e.g. Antarctica)
- organisations that allocate their aid to countries which are not on the list of ODA recipients (e.g. United States)
DAC Regions need to be used because they are used in many donor systems.
However, UN M.49 Region categorisation is much clearer, for every country, and more disaggregated. There are problems in mapping DAC region codes against M.49 codes (e.g. Turkey = Europe according to the DAC and Western Asia according to UN M.49)
There needs to be a list of all ISO countries mapped to DAC Regions, which is easily accessible on the IATI Standard website.
There should probably also be a way to provide a more accurate supranational region, between a country and a continent-wide region. UN M.49 provides a useful way to do this.
Complete DAC Regions list, and provide mapping between countries and regions (already done by BH and MB)
Make sure there is a recipient-region for every country, and a recipient region for everywhere (or include Antarctica in Oceania?)
Make this list publicly available
Add “vocab” attribute to the <recipient-region> tag
Add UN M.49 codelist to the recipient-region vocab.
Proposal by Mark Brough
Is there any movement on this proposal? Mapping between Countries and Regions seems critical to ensuring consistent representation. At the least I would be interested to see any draft mapping that has been completed (that you refer to in your post); we are looking at how we code our projects in our various systems, and aiming for consistency.
Kristina - there is some mapping here that you could use (based on the DAC region codes, with the rest inferred): https://github.com/okfn/iatitools/raw/master/mapping/ISO-DAC-Countries-Regions.csv
Proposed addition to the activity standard
Whlle a move to the UN region codes would provide better granularity and coverage it is not clear how to support both DAC and UN codes without destroying the ability to analyse the data by Region as is currently done in Aidview.
This may be no great loss because the hierarchical nature of the DAC code has allowed data to be provided at different levels of the hierarchy which makes its use in analysis problematic, and without mapping countries to regions so that a full region analysis can be undertaken analysis by region alone is pretty meaningless. However if data cannot be used for analysis, it is debateable if it is worth collecting at all. The same problem pertains to other multi-vocabulary codes such as sector codes where due to lack of coding lists and mapping daat n other than DAC sectors is not included in sector summares and hence those summaries are distorted. This issue seems to hghlght the tension between ease of data collection from existing sources and the value of that data in comparisions and summaries.
Multiple coding lists for the same XML element also mean that validation is context-dependent since the list to check against depends on the value of another element. This complication can be accommodated in the Aidview rule base but should be noted.
Based on Mark Brough's data and http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm I compiled a full map from country codes to UN and DAC regions which may be useful.