IATI signatories can exclude activities as long as they do so on a transparent basis. The exclusions criteria must be made public.
However, there is no way within the activities schema to say anything about activities which are excluded entirely.
There is no way to state that certain information about an activity has been excluded.
This causes problems when measuring the completeness or quality of IATI data.
In terms of the completeness, if activities subject to exclusions are left out entirely, then the total value of activities will not add up and there will appear to be (potentially substantial amounts of) resources not appearing in the data. It will not be clear why this is the case: is it because the activities are excluded, or because of a lack of complete information about activities being collected at HQ, or because there is some problem occurring in the data transformation process.
In terms of quality, if activities subject to exclusions are included but, for example, the name of the organisation is not included because it would be harmful to release that information, then that activity would appear to be poor-quality, rather than simply subject to a legitimate exclusion.
Add to all elements in the activities schema the following attributes:
Add an attribute “exclusion”, which states whether the element is subject to an exclusion.
1 = subject to an exclusion
0 or not present = not subject to an exclusion
Add an attribute “exclusion-type”, which explains the grounds on which the information is withheld, according to a series of standard categories. For example,
1 = international relations;
2 = safety or harm;
3 = personal information;
4 = commercially sensitive information.
Add to the organisation schema a document-link category code of “exclusions policy”, so that the donor can provide a link to their exclusions policy within the schema.
POSSIBLY: Add to the activities schema an element “excluded-activities”, which can be used in place of iati-activity. This can use elements from the activities standard to provide aggregate information about activities that are excluded entirely.
Proposed by Mark Brough