Aid transparency with IATI

International Aid Transparency Initiative

IATI or the International Aid Transparency Initiative is a global attempt to make aid delivery and the fight against poverty more effective through the sharing of information. IATI tries to provide a good overview of what kind of aid is delivered (or will be delivered) at different places by different actors. These actors can include governments of both the donor and recipient countries, international NGOs, local NGOs, companies, non-profit organisations, faith-based organisations, individual initiatives...

To make aid delivery effective to a country or region effective, it is important to have a common strategy and vision so that different initiatives work complementary to each other and reinforce each other. This is necessary for instance to avoid that everyone starts working on the same spot, hindering each other and pouring too many resources in one location, while people in other locations remain in dire need for assistance.

In order to enable developing countries to coordinate and plan the different efforts that will take place in their territory, it is vital that they know who wants to do what where and when. At the moment this is very difficult, as there are many sources of information and not every organisation informs local authorities about what they want to do - although in some countries there may be very good reasons to avoid government interference.

The second goal of aid transparency is to offer citizens, civil society organisations, journalists, scientists, etc. information about where the funds - provided by government agencies or by private donations - go to. Who is involved in the transferring and spending of this money? Where does it end up? What did it buy? Who received it? What changes did it bring about? Were the projects successful?

To allow for this exchange of information, a common standard was needed for (digital) information exchange. This means that when someone sends you information about a project, this information is structured in a specific way so that both the software at the sending and the receiving end agree about where to find the title of the project, the financial information, the location of the project, the results of the project and so on.

The IATI standard is an internationally agreed standard of information exchange about aid delivery. It is a XML document (similar to HTML which is used to create web pages) and it lists a number of field names and each field contains text or a value. In essence, these XML documents are text documents that can be created with different instruments: an ordinary word processor, special Excel templates (offered by IATI), specialised software such as Aidstream or web services that connect one organisation's database with another (API).

Since version 3.0, Logframer supports the creation, reading and updating of IATI files.

For more information about the IATI initiative, visit their website at


In this section of the manual we'll treat the following topics:

  • What are the main IATI instruments: registry, datastore and d-portal
  • IATI documents according to the IATI standard: activity files and organisation files (and how to create them)
  • Overview of the process: registering, creating files, publishing the files on your site, registering the files in the Registry
  • How to create an organisation file in Logframer
  • How to create an activity file in Logframer
  • Validating files
  • Opening and updating files


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