• Background paper
  • 20 July 2017

Improving humanitarian transparency with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and the UN OCHA Financial Tracking Service (FTS)

This background paper introduces humanitarian actors to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS). It answers key questions about the purpose and functionality of IATI and FTS and explains how they work together.

The paper was drafted by Development Initiatives (with the support of the IATI Secretariat) and UN OCHA as a contribution to the work of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Humanitarian Financing Task Team (HFTT).

At the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, a number of leading donor governments, non-governmental organisation (NGO) networks, and multilateral and UN agencies agreed the ‘Grand Bargain: A Shared Commitment to Better Serve People in Need. This includes a set of commitments to increase the transparency of humanitarian financing. Within the Grand Bargain, IATI is identified as the basis for a common standard for publishing data on humanitarian funding, and FTS is highlighted as a well-established, voluntary information platform for recording international humanitarian contributions.

Implementing the Grand Bargain commitments on transparency provides unprecedented opportunity for increased political momentum and practical action to improve the quality, availability and use of data on crisis-related financing.