I was a panelist on a workshop session Tuesday, April 30, discussing whether U.S.-based NGOs should join the open data movement that many donors and European NGOs have already signed on to. The International Accountability and Transparency Initiative (IATI) provides guidelines and standards for publishing data on international aid.
While IATI is was mainly designed for donors to report on how they spend taxpayer funds, Pact is the first U.S.-based implementing NGO that will voluntarily publish data on its programs at regular six-month intervals in accordance with IATI standards. Pact has always strived to be transparent in its work, but just recently formalized that principle in an official Open Information Policy.
The purpose of the policy is to ensure that Pact is systematically transparent about its work and accountable to its stakeholders.
Pact’s CEO, Mark Viso, was in the audience and made a comment that the reason Pact made the decision to make information more easily accessible to the public is because it is “the right thing to do.” There may not be an obvious business case for joining IATI, but, in doing so, Pact is acknowledging that it mostly implements publicly funded programs and, therefore, in most cases, the public should be able to easily access basic information about those programs.
Look for more information about Pact’s association with IATI on this website soon and on IATI’s at www.aidtransparency.net