Evidence available for 2017 indicates that there has been very good progress against commitment 1.1, which the workstream consciously decided to focus on at an early stage. But there remain some differences of opinion on the IATI standard and there has been less progress on the political or policy issues that are required to drive systemic change. 
Since June 2017, the number of Grand Bargain signatories that are publishing open data on their humanitarian financing and providing much more useful and usable data on their activities has significantly increased.
The IATI Standard has been further enhanced to enable Grand Bargain signatories to publish the data they need to be able to track progress in these commitment areas. Released in February 2018, version 2.03 enables signatories (and other IATI publishers) to provide even more granular reporting on humanitarian funding, for example by showing levels of earmarking, pledges, cash-based programming4 and whether funding is channeled via local and national responders.
A joint work plan has been developed between the Centre, FTS, Development Initiatives and the IATI Secretariat to pilot the automatic import of IATI data into FTS and ensure complementarity between the two systems, reducing gaps in information reported to FTS and lowering the reporting burden on donors and aid organisations.
Other key developments at the workstream level include the creation of a Humanitarian Data Centre in The Hague, by OCHA and the Netherlands, to provide data services to humanitarian actors, including supporting the adoption of standards such as IATI.
The progress by Grand Bargain signatories in publishing their humanitarian data to IATI is encouraging and many organisations who have improved their IATI reporting over the last year have commented positively on its potential benefits – such as improving organisational performance, efficiency, opportunities for collaboration, evidence-based decision-making, accountability and transparency. However, the process of publishing to IATI for the first time can appear daunting to both large and small organisations – and this may limit further progress.
The next phase of for the Transparency works stream will be to ensure that published data is relevant and accessible to potential users and that the GB signatories, as well as the wider humanitarian community, are supported in using IATI data. This will only be feasible with a greater collective understating of how data can or might support key processes within humanitarian response.
Overall, it will be important for IATI users to demonstrate the benefits of using humanitarian data for better decision-making and building evidence. Moreover, the continuing lack of clarity on the purpose of and gains to be expected from increased financial transparency and how to achieve it indicates a need for discussion across all workstreams
Next workstream ›