The IATI standard was designed primarily with development assistance in mind. Over the past couple of years the IATI secretariat and technical team have been discussing how to improve humanitarian reporting with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) (in particular their team managing the Financial Tracking Service (FTS)) and with the European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) (in particular with their team managing the European Emergency Disaster Response Information System (EDRIS) as well as other organisations and experts involved in the delivery and reporting of humanitarian aid.
FTS have led the way in this field with the creation of an extension that they use to report to IATI. Our original intention was to modify this extension to make it more generic to allow for a range of reporting systems. The UN OCHA team, who are currently reviewing their own requirements, persuaded us to look at how we could use existing elements within the standard rather than creating a whole suite of new elements in a separate extension. As a result we have come up with the following proposal to be added to the standard proper:
- Add a humanitarian flag so that individual activities can be identified as being wholly or partially related to humanitarian activity. This flag will allow publishing systems to fast-track time sensitive humanitarian information, and for humanitarian users such as the FTS to identify which activities require their attention.
- Add vocabularies to the existing sector element to allow for the reporting of humanitarian clusters
- Allow the policy-marker element (designed for OECD DAC CRS reporting) to be used for humanitarian vocabularies as well
- Add a new ‘humanitarian-event’ element for the classification of emergencies, appeals and other events or actions.