I’ve recently been working with UN-Habitat to investigate traceability: how we can link/connect different activities together.
There seems to be a growing community of people interested in this - including Pelle Aardema Herman van Loon and the team at the Dutch MFA (their guidelines are very useful), Rolf Kleef (really interesting post on org structures) and SJohns (fusion tables network diagrams)
system Admin - could we have a new dedicated category for traceability, maybe?
My question here is what shared understanding or experience we might have in terms of how traceability might “look”. If we tour around the uses of IATI thus far, there are plenty of maps, graphs and aggregations - most often centred on a single publisher (or all publishers, but aggregations around sectors or countries). As far as I know, we haven’t anything out there to illustrate what traceability between publishers would be/mean…
Network diagrams might be one tactic - as could a Sankey diagram:
(made with Sankeymatic)
But - maybe we haven’t a clear idea, or full discussion, around what we are trying to do? Is it best to consider why we want traceability before rushing to the tools?
Hopefully others in the community can discuss. Apologies for the open end / vague nature of the post - I’ve been looking at network diagrams for far too long!
Stevie - Similar things can be seen in National Health Accounts e.g. screenshot attached is from Sierra Leone. The WHO tool used has lots of work and spreadsheets for tracking what is necessary to capture complex financing flows between organisations (including DPs and implementers) to see how much money ends up contributing to what outputs.
Sorry it is not the fully graphical version but this gives a flavour of the spaghetti of relationships
NHA printscreen 2.jpg1920×1080 577 KB
Traceability between publishers is a significant stumbling block for eliminating double counting at the country level. At the moment it still has to be done by hand as not enough publishers use (or use in the same way) the tools built into IATI e.g. for received-from.
Yohanna - I agree with the logic of calling a transaction where there is one or more organisations in the chain a disbursement, but would caution that the result may be that a) 90% of transactions in IATI become disbursements as there are few national NGOs/national implementers reporting the final part of the chain, and b) this means that the organisation making the disbursement needs to know what it was spent on (to know where it is in the chain) before being able to report it - which seems difficult, especially as plenty of transactions combine funding for both implementers staff costs (an expenditure) and implementer pass-through, a disbursement.