My name is Adrian Collier, and I am the Product Manager for Akvo RSR, a reporting platform for visualising projects being implemented globally within the development sector.
We have been working recently with Cordaid, a large Dutch based NGO, on integrating Akvo RSR and their internal systems to bring their portfolio of over 500 projects online.
As part of this integration, we will be utilising an internal API of Akvo RSR. To make things easier for Cordaid and future partners, we have decided the best solution is for the communication files to be in IATI XML format.
This way, Cordaid will be able to use the files they send to IATI to also send information to Akvo RSR without having to re-write their data export.
The investigation into this solution has uncovered some items where the original data of Crodaid, the data requirements for Akvo RSR and the IATI Schema are not in full alignment. To ensure the most effective solution for the long-term, I wanted to raise these items with the group.
1. We would like to transmit images within the files we send both between Akvo and Cordaid, but ultimately also to the IATI Registry. Pictures tell a thousand words and are often the most effective way to explain what a project is about.
I believe a good place for this would be the Document Link element, but according to the IATI Schema (http://iatistandard.org/codelists/file_format) images are not supported in any way - such as a png file.
In addition, when communicating information about Organisations, we would like to send the Logo of the organisation too. Again the Organisation Document would be a suitable place, but it is also subject to the same File Format restrictions.
Is this something which is likely to be looked at and expanded at any time in the near future?
2. We are also looking at the Website Link element which is very useful to be able to link additional information into the file without having to populate the file itself. Also useful to providing further research options on individual projects or organisations.
Adding multiple of these appears to be possible within the current schema, but in order to make this really useful, we would like to be able to add a Title and Description to links to be able to confirm what the individual links are.
3. The description element currently has 3 types, 1, 2 & 3. We will need to utilise this field more heavily as there is a lot of descriptive information held on these projects. As part of a trial we have used an Akvo namespace for this to distinguish the different types.
<description akvo:type="Current status">
Ideally we would like this to be included within the Schema, but it is understandable that there might be information which we hold which would not be incorporated into the registry. If this is the case, then would the inclusion of this information cause the files to be rejected on loading, or would the Schema just ignore the information contained within these elements?
Any help that can be offered in finding the most optimal solution would be greatly appreciated.