Discussion

Update to IATI Covid-19 guidance- new OECD DAC code

Petya Kangalova - IATI Secretariat • 27 September 2021

Dear IATI Community,

The process for suggesting changes to IATI Standard Publishing Guidance was introduced in June 2020.  Following the established process, we are adding this discussion topic as we have received a specific proposal from an IATI community member on changes to the COVID-19 guidance.

Summary of change:
The OECD DAC has added a specific COVID-19 control sector code (12264), which has been included in the IATI 5 digit sector codes. This code falls under the basic health category (122) and is defined as “All activities related to COVID-19 control e.g. information, education and communication; testing; prevention; immunisation, treatment, care. It is important to note that it is not a general COVID-19 marker, but the addition was specific to the sector codelist. The proposal is for the new sector code to be added into the IATI COVID-19 publishing and data access guidance

Specific updates being proposed:
For the  COVID-19 data publishing guidance 
  • Data publishers should only use the sector code 12264 when their activity relates to: 

All activities related to COVID-19 control e.g. information, education and communication; testing; prevention; immunisation, treatment, care.”

This code should not be used as a general ‘covid’ marker for an activity.

All other sectors which the activity relates to should be provided with the relevant percentage split.

For the COVID-19  data access guidance

  • Data users should include a search for sector code 12264 when looking for COVID related IATI data.

Discussion questions:

#1. Do you agree with the proposed changes above? Do you have any additional specific text changes to the ones proposed above?

#2. Is there anything else we should be aware of, discuss or add to the COVID publishing and data access guidance? 

#3. Will the proposed change bring any challenges with how you publish, and/or  useCOVID-19 related data?

 

Share your comments below and please refer to the number of the question you are responding to. 


Go back to Publishing Guidance main page


Extra note

Issues which require no change to the interpretation to the Standard, but are additions or changes to the published guidance. At the 6 month review period the Technical Team will review the discussion on Github and assess whether there is an agreement. We will also signpost/share via IATI Connect (specific category for this will be set up) once the issue has been raised, so users can be alerted and can get involved if they wish to. Issues can also be raised directly on IATI Connect under the relevant category. Following agreement, changes will then be made to the guidance by the Technical Team. More weight will be given to proposals supported by more community members.


Note: we propose that we need agreement of at least 10 community members.

Comments (7)

leo stolk

Thanks for holding this consultation.

Can we expect more COVID specific coding for WATSAN, food assistance, non food items, cash transfers, social protection? Not sure if that is best way forward for every next pandemic. The combination of generic COVID marker and technical specificity in DAC code is much neater and more future resistant in my view. 

No objection to proposal as formulated above. Unlikely we will use this DAC code though, due to need to change data points in system.

Michelle Levesque

I'm a tad confused.  The OECD has already included the code n their list and thus as a standard code list for IATI the option to use 12264 as a code has existed since January 2021.  Is the question simply if IATI can/should update the COVID guidance to include the fact that this new code exists?  If that is correct then I don't believe there is an issue updating guidance.  

The fact that OCED chose this route to go in their code lists is a whole other matter.  And like Leo, I doubt we will be using it as a sector code in IATI.  For the record, we are not OECD reporters.  

Amy Silcock

[~325] you're correct that IATI replicates the DAC Sector codes as is. Publishers are already free, and already are, using the code 12264.

As Bill's mentioned, IATI doesn't replicate the DAC's full guidance on how these codes should be used. We have the opportunity to add in additional guidance e.g. Leo's support for publishing using the combination of a generic COVID marker plus the technical specificity DAC code.

One thing I'm cautious about is the DAC code 12264 being seen as a 'generic' Covid code by our non-DAC publishing and data use community. Hence the proposal to add the detail into our guidance. Keen to hear of other factors and views I'm not yet aware of.

Steven Flower

Thanks for flagging this here [~453] 

As [~325] observes, we saw this appear in the IATI sector code list, and so it was used throughout IATI data.  With the IATI COVID-19 Funding dashboard project we then had to adjust the data query, to accommodate this, as some publishers started to *just* use this code, in effect as a marker.

The issue with this being a sector code alongside all other sectors is that the publisher then has to make some choices, and try and represent this as data. There's a concern that the 12264 sector code could then distract/diminish from other codes, or obfuscate them entirely.  For example:

- Activity A is Primary Education (11220 , 50%) &  Health education (12261, 50%) but all about COVID-19 health messages.  Does that then become COVID-19 control (12264, 100%)?  If that happens, we may lose some information and granularity.

- Another example could be where a publisher determines that an activity has some COVID-19 element.  Along the lines of the above, we could then see: Primary Education (11220 , 40%) ; Health education (12261, 40%);  COVID-19 control (12264, 20%).  In these instances, we have to careful about the statistical calculations that start to arise, particularly if this is combined with more than one country/region.  It can start to look strange!

Thanks [~522] for highlighting the freetext/hashtag addition to OECD DAC reporting.  Does that equate to the ``tag`` element in IATI?  I recall we added this during 2.03 in the midst of a whole "statistical vs non-statistical classifications" ( I think there were a lot of mentions of Cashew nuts as a use case!) discussions.  As a "cross-cutting" field, this can help determine if an activity is related to (for example) COVID-19, although we do then lack some mechanism to determine  how closely it is related (there's a whole subset of activities that claim to relate to COVID-19, yet are actually changes of plans/resources as a consequence of the pandemic).  It could be that the mechanism of purpose codes, to declare significance, might be a useful tool...

The dilemma for the IATI community here seems to be whether to follow and adopt OECD DAC purpose codes / guidance into the standard, or move away from them.  Doing the latter would be a new departure, and require some detailed thought.

My personal recommendation on this issue is that Members should convene a Working Group to look more closely at statistical vs non-statistical flagging of activities, gather use cases, and recommend ways forward.  The wealth of data generated via COVID-19 can support this group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Silcock

Thanks Steven Flower, I agree with your reflections! As mentioned the code is already adopted into the IATI Standard as we mirror the DAC sector code list as is.

The question that remains is what 'usage' guidance should we provide to our IATI publishers and data users. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve on the suggested wording mentioned above?

So far I see no disagreement with the wording coming from these posts. Whilst recognising there is a bigger question around guidance and use of DAC codes. Not just COVID specific ones.

Specific updates being proposed:

For the  COVID-19 data publishing guidance 

  • Data publishers should only use the sector code 12264 when their activity relates to: 

“All activities related to COVID-19 control e.g. information, education and communication; testing; prevention; immunisation, treatment, care.”

This code should not be used as a general ‘covid’ marker for an activity.

All other sectors which the activity relates to should be provided with the relevant percentage split.

For the COVID-19  data access guidance

  • Data users should include a search for sector code 12264 when looking for COVID related IATI data.
Amy Silcock

Unless further comments are made by the end of October, I see no objections to adding the above wording to the Covid-19 publishing and data use guidance pages. Come the end of the month we will add the changes.

Whilst noting that further discussions are needed around how closely IATI follows the OECD DAC and what the IATI usage guidance should be. This work can be done separately to updating the Covid guidance pages.


Please log in or sign up to comment.