Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Information Sharing for Impact

October 14, 2013

 The Gates Foundation is joining the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which is working to make information about spending on development easier to access, understand, and use. As one of the first private foundations to become a member, we will join a growing alliance that includes the countries that spend money on foreign aid and many United Nations and other multinational organizations. One of the ongoing challenges that philanthropic foundations and government aid agencies face is how to share information with the public and other people committed to the same humanitarian goals. Over the last few years, we have worked with other foundations, development agencies, and multilateral organizations to figure out how to streamline and share information in a more consistent way.

The Gates Foundation is joining the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which is working to make information about spending on development easier to access, understand, and use. As one of the first private foundations to become a member, we will join a growing alliance that includes the countries that spend money on foreign aid and many United Nations and other multinational organizations. Although there are some differences in how members of IATI approach information sharing, we are excited to be part of this collaborative effort to increase the transparency of development aid.

Our commitment to IATI is one of a number of steps we are taking to make information about the foundation more available. For example, we now share information about our international grants with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, another international organization focused on standardizing data and making it more accessible. We also make data about our grants available on our website and publish it to the Foundation Center, a well-regarded resource of information about philanthropic organizations. You can read more about our information sharing approach here.

By the end of 2013, we will publish an implementation schedule for sharing our data with IATI. In the meantime, we are continuing to work with partners in the development and philanthropic communities to understand better how this kind of data can be made more useful.

To figure out our approach to sharing information, we have taken lessons from what governments and other non-profits are doing well, while considering the unique aspects of operating a foundation. At the end of the day, our goal is the same: to identify common ways we all can share information that will help the development community achieve greater impact.

 
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