The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) is about making aid spending information easier to access and understand. It provides a common standard on which funding organizations can publish their activities, allowing stakeholders and third-parties to analyse and visualize this spending data. The IATI registry, powered by CKAN, provides a centralized repository where publishers can register their activity files, making them discoverable and accessible to anyone interested via the web interface or the JSON API.
So far 24 different publishers from different sectors have published their activity files to the registry, and one of the main goals of the project has been making this really easy for them. That’s why the registry offers, apart from a customized form to enter individual datasets, the ability to import multiple records via CSV files. Other third-parties are also developing tools to add records to the registry via the CKAN API.
The registry provides a powerful search, which allows to facet the results by publisher, country, organization type, etc., and users can subscribe to Atom feeds to follow changes to the whole registry, as well as for a particular country, publisher or search results.
To ensure that the metadata shown is up to date, there is a daily archiver task that checks for changes in the remote activity files and extracts relevant information from them, allowing also to detect broken links and bad file formats.
Another crucial point for the project has been the need to integrate with external services that offer extra features around the IATI XML files. For instance, the registry provides direct links to other sites that offer previewing and CSV exporting of the activity files. There is also a showcase of applications in the frontpage, which features applications built around IATI data.