The situation in Niger has been on the minds of many of us. Many of you will have activities in Niger, and have probably been in contact with the ministry about this.

In any crisis in one of our implementing countries, the Helpdesk Open Data meets with country specialists to consider the effects on open data. Our questions focus on: what is this crisis about? How does it affect development or humanitarian activities? Will the situation affect the safety of our partners? Does our publishing of open data about these activities get anyone in trouble? Should we advise our implementing partners to alter their IATI?

For Niger, we recently did the same. In the case of Niger, there has not been any reason for the MFA to anonimise our open data. We have three main reasons for this:

  • So far, those involved with the coup have not shown an interest in interfering with development or humanitarian activities.
  • The ODA activities are mostly focused on themes like sanitation, agriculture and water, and much less with more sensitive areas like human rights or lobby work.
  • With one exception, the implementing partners in our data are all international and will run no risk when collaborating with the Netherlands government on activities in Niger.

Of course, other changes in our Niger policy are being discussed, but the open data we publish remain unchanged.

Your data may be a different story. If you have questions or concerns about your publication of activities in Niger or neighbouring countries, please contact or your focal point in the ministry. Also have a look at our article on the topic of sensitive information here.

We don’t know how the situation in Niger will develop. It does help to remember that, when the situation in a country gets chaotic, open data often become even more important than before. Humanitarian efforts are supported by good overviews of which organisations work where, on which issues, and with which local or international partners. One example where transparency helps humanitarian efforts can be found on the IATI Connect website. The organisation Fields Data creates maps which help getting aid to the right people. If you publish activities in Niger, have a look at the quality of the data, and improve it where necessary. Perhaps have a look at adding locations, properly labeling humanitarian activities (scroll down to the bottom of the page) if applicable, and of course correctly linking to your partners including donors.