Long-term institutional and sustainable financial arrangements for IATI

A paper was presented at the recent Members’ Assembly with draft terms of reference for a consultant to undertake a piece of work to inform decisions on the long-term institutional and financial arrangements for IATI. (The content of the paper is also pasted below for ease of reference).

The IATI Governing Board would welcome views from the wider IATI community on these draft ToRs before they are finalised.

Please post your comments in this thread or send directly to the Chair via email to chair@iatistandard.org. The deadline for comments is Friday 12 August.

Draft Terms of Reference
Long-term institutional and sustainable financial arrangements for the International Aid Transparency Initiative

The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid, development, and humanitarian resources in order to increase their effectiveness in tackling poverty. IATI brings together donor and recipient countries, civil society organisations, and other experts in aid information who are committed to working together to increase the transparency and openness of aid.

The initiative has been hosted by a multi-stakeholder consortium selected by the IATI Steering Committee in March 2013 based on the recommendation of a sub-committee of members following a competitive process. The current hosting consortium includes UNDP, UNOPS, the UK-based NGO Development Initiatives, and the governments of Ghana and Sweden.

IATI is resourced through a funding model combining membership fees (70% of the budget) and additional voluntary contributions (30% of the budget). This has proven only partially successful since its introduction in September 2013 and has led to financial instability for the initiative.

An independent evaluation of IATI undertaken in 2015 recommended a review of long term institutional arrangements for IATI, and members have indicated that transition to such arrangements should take place during a two year period of extension of the current arrangements, no later than August 2018. As an integral
requirement for sustainability of IATI, financial stability should be considered alongside other aspects of institutional arrangements.

The purpose of this consultancy is to present the Governing Board of IATI with options to enable them to make clear recommendations to members for the long-term institutional arrangements of IATI. The consultant should consider both hosting of the Secretariat and sustainable funding for the initiative in his/her work. Each option presented should be accompanied by a high level plan for the transitional process from the current arrangement to the long term institutional arrangement.

Key Tasks
The key tasks that the consultant will be asked to undertake are as follows:

  1. Taking into account the recommendations of the 2015 evaluation of IATI and institutional arrangements of comparable organisations, develop alternative options on hosting and funding for consideration by the Governing Board, to enable the Board to make a recommendation to the MA. Each option should be accompanied by a clear rationale and outline of pros and cons for each different approach. The question of establishing a separate legal identity for IATI should also be addressed.

  2. Present the findings to the Governing Board to facilitate its discussion and work with the Board to assist in formulating clear and detailed recommendations for IATI members for their final decision.

  3. Develop a clear process of transition from the current consortium to the proposed long-term institutional host arrangement, with a focus on keeping operational disruption to a minimum.

It is envisaged that the consultant will:

  • Review the independent evaluation of IATI undertaken in 2015, and any relevant documents from the Governing Board and Secretariat. The IATI Secretariat will be on hand to respond to any questions of the consultant or supply strategic documents to be used as part of the review.

  • Identify and review arrangements and funding of comparable multi-stakeholder initiatives or organisations including the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) and the Open Contracting Partnership (and others as deemed relevant) and determine whether there are elements to include in a options for IATI to consider.

  • Develop recommendations for members in close consultation with the IATI Governing Board, presenting the findings of the review in a Board meeting via videoconference and undertaking further consultation work directly with the Board to assist in setting out options for members’ consideration.

The consultant will be expected to:

  1. Produce a single report of no more than 20 pages covering each of the tasks outlined above and including the key recommendations of the consultant on each topic.
  2. In addition to the first draft the consultant is expected to carry out reasonable consultation with the Board and incorporate requested amendments to finalise the report (up to three rounds of review and amendment).
  3. The consultant will be answerable to the Chair of the Board. He/she will be expected to present the final report to the Board and facilitate discussion in that forum. Requested changes should subsequently be incorporated into the report before it is shared with members for their final decision.
  4. The report should be presented in English language.
  5. (Follow-on activities of the consultant once the decision is made by members should be the subject of a fresh contract)

To be confirmed - (once confirmed, include dates for each draft and period of review). Funding for this activity is not included in Y3 activities and could not therefore take place until funding is secured, either as part of Y4 activities (commencing September 2016) or earlier if a separate source of funding can be found.

The consultant is expected to have a detailed understanding of the development sector and familiarity with the multi-stakeholder nature of IATI’s work, and expertise in legal entity, organisational structure and reform.
Strong communication and writing skills are essential.

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