There are several possible causes. Please check the following:
  • Are there transactions of type 1 (incoming funds) or 11 (incoming commitment)? If they are not in your IATI file, the activity of the organisation doesn’t link back to the MFA activity.
  • Do the incoming funds and incoming commitments have the correct provider-activity-ID? It’s possible the provider-activity-id is missing or incorrect. More information on how to fix that is in this Technical Tip.
  • Has the organisation started publishing in IATI recently, or is it a new partner for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs? Metis perhaps hasn’t picked up the data yet. Email us (see below) and we will check.
  • Less likely but possible: perhaps there is an issue with your data that is so severe that it is impossible to read the data. Please check in the IATI Validator by looking for your organisation and checking the status of each file. If any of your files have a ‘critical error’ (in purple), this needs to be fixed first before we can import the data into Metis.
If it’s none of the above, email us at helpdesk-opendata@minbuza.nl with a link to the file in the IATI registry and if possible the ID of the MFA activity it should refer back to, and we will have a look.

Check the following:

  • Did you fill in baseline, actual, and target? Or did you fill it with something else than numbers? Putting ‘n/a’ in a baseline or target, for example, will trip METIS because it expects numbers. If your baseline is zero, type ‘0’ and not ‘n/a’ or similar. See also our Technical Tip on baselines.
  • Is ‘aggregation’ in each result and each indicator set to ‘true’? If they are numerical and can be aggregated, please make sure it says so in the details of the results area. Sometimes results or indicators are not suitable for aggregation. In that case, they will still be visible in the tab for detailed results but not in aggregated visuals. More information is in our Technical Tip on aggregation status. It is also possible to have qualitative indicators. Those, too, will not be visible in visuals but are present in the detailed results section.
  • If it’s none of the above, email us at helpdesk-opendata@minbuza.nl with a link to the file in the IATI registry.

It is, by the way, extremely useful to add baselines and targets. For output indicators, your baseline will almost always be 0. Your data will be much more useful if you add baselines and targets where ever you can.

That depends. Sometimes, this idea is incorrect. IATI results and indicators can have many ways of measuring. There are in fact five, including qualitative indicators. Have a look here and see if one of them fits to your results https://iatistandard.org/en/iati-standard/203/codelists/indicatormeasure/.If you use non-numerical measures like qualitative indicators, METIS will of course not visualise it in an aggregated way, but you will still have reported your results in IATI, in a way that fits the nature of the activity. This is in line with the MFA Guidelines.

As a last resort, you could attach a narrative document on the results to your IATI report on this activity. This will mean the results will in many ways be invisible so try to avoid it. If you want to discuss if  there is a better solution for your situation, contact us.

MFA requirements

We certainly can. Send us the link at helpdesk-opendata@minbuza.nl and we will have a look, and discuss the results with you. You can also check it yourself with the IATI Validator and by reading the ministry’s IATI Publishing Guidelines.

The ministry encourages its partners to update their IATI publication at least every quarter the IATI publication, following IATI recommendations and best practices. The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs assesses the progress of the activities once a year, and therefore requires at least an annual update of the IATI publication.

Quarterly updates are useful because:

  1. Timely information is provided to data users – one of the basic assumptions of IATI
  2. Going through the process on a quarterly basis provides for a certain routine
  3. The workload for each update is limited
  4. The data are regularly checked on content and relevance.

The fact that data are updated periodically, doesn’t mean that they have been thoroughly checked (e.g. by means of an annual accountants check). The data that the publishing organisation uses are ‘good enough’. This is one of the reasons why IATI data cannot be used for financial accountability. Each IATI publication is a ‘snapshot’ of the situation, containing the data available at that point in time.

Each new publication replaces the previous publication. Old activities remain published, even after they have ended. The total dataset will thus grow over time.

What does a quarterly update involve?

Generally, the basic activity details are entered once, at the start of an activity.

Every quarterly check entails:

  • Are there new activities that should be published?

And per activity, you could look at:

  • Have the initial plans changed?
    descriptions, start and end dates might change
  • Has the status changed?
    think of cancelled or completed activities
  • Are there new partners?
  • Are there new locations where activities take place?
  • Which financial transactions took place?
    incoming funds, transfers and expenditures of the last quarter
  • Have results been measured?
  • Are there documents you want to add using the ‘document link’? Think of narrative reports, program documents, studies, result reports, photos, videos.

When working in a sensitive context, the quarterly update is also a good moment to assess if all the data contained in the publication, can still safely be published (or if a certain partner should rather be anonymized).