Celebrating NGO's Commitment to Quality Data

Photo By: Sarah Siguenza

At InterAction, we love data.

We recently joined the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), a voluntary initiative that aims to make information about aid spending easier to access, use, and understand. We also created NGO Aid Map, which seeks to increase the amount of publicly available aid data through visualizations and interactive maps. Simply put, we believe that data is paramount to deepening our understanding and collaboration to achieve effective and sustainable development.

Ideally, all who are working to build a better world – citizens, NGOs, governments, academia, donors, the media, and the private sector – would have data available for use however and whenever they need it. It’s not enough that the information simply exists – data needs to be reliable and presented in useful, practical ways.

With that in mind, this summer we launched the Data Quality Award, created with the belief that better quality data is more usable data

The Data Quality Award encouraged InterAction members to improve the quality of their data on NGO Aid Map through a comprehensive evaluation over a five month period. The evaluation was based on three of NGO Aid Map’s dimensions of data quality: comprehensiveness, completeness, and timeliness. Though this might seem mundane, an organization that submits detailed and comprehensive data on most – if not all – of its work in a timely manner is one that stakeholders and partners can trust.

Given this was the first year of the award, our members showed a high level of commitment to this work and the competition was tough. Over 30 organizations elected to enter to win, and we had three come close to a perfect data quality score. In the end, winning organization NCBA CLUSA achieved a perfect score in all three dimensions and earned bonus points by enhancing project pages through pictures and video.

I was proud of how our team and our membership collaborated on a voluntary initiative to increase the amount of public, usable data. I was also proud to present the award to an organization that’s as excited about data as we are. This competition was truly a testament to all of the ways we can efficiently work together to shift the conversation in this community.  


Watch our Data Quality Award winner discuss aid transparency.

Watch our panelists discuss what advice they’d give to an organization embarking on aid transparency.

Watch our panelists discuss what challenges relating to aid transparency NGOs are likely to face in the future.

Watch the WebEx recording of the Data Quality Award presentation.