The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) aims to make information about aid spending easier to find, use and compare. Donor countries, developing country governments and non-governmental organizations who have signed on to IATI commit to publishing more timely, comprehensive, and forward-looking information on international development assistance. IATI has developed a common, open, international standard for publishing this information.
IATI aims to ensure that citizens, developing country partners, civil society, and donor countries have access to information on development spending in a format that is comparable to data from other participating organizations and countries. This means that all those involved in international development assistance are better able to track what aid is being used for and what it is achieving. This, in turn, leads to every aid dollar being used as effectively as possible to reduce poverty and improve people's lives.
The former Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) joined IATI in November 2011, underscoring its commitment to being more transparent.
In October 2012, CIDA released its first set of quarterly data files compatible with the IATI standard. CIDA's actions won praise from the non-governmental organization Publish What You Fund: "CIDA's publication—including important results information—is the first of its kind from a North American government institution. It is also the first IATI data to be published bilingually in French and English."
In December 2012, CIDA released its implementation schedule for the IATI standard, which outlined how and when CIDA planned to release more information as part of its commitment to IATI and to transparency.
On January 31, 2013, CIDA published its second set of quarterly IATI data files. These now include terminating and closed projects, as well as operational projects.
On April 30, 2013, CIDA published its third set of quarterly IATI data files. The organisation file includes two new fields, providing the sum of approved commitments to key partner countries and key organisations.
As a result of the amalgamation of CIDA and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade into the new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) in June 2013, a new implementation schedule for DFATD may need to be developed.
On July 31, 2013, DFATD published the fourth set of quarterly IATI data files.
On October 31, 2013, DFATD published the fifth set of quarterly IATI data files. The activity file now includes four new fields: collaboration type, finance type, flow type and aid type.
On January 31, 2014, DFATD published the sixth set of quarterly IATI data files.
On March 5, 2014, DFATD added the conditions field to its quarterly IATI data files.
On May 1, 2014, DFATD published its seventh set of quarterly IATI data files, with a new activity website field providing a hyperlink to the implementing agency's website.