• Written by Adrian Collier
    13 December 2012

It’s coming close to Christmas and, let’s face it, we’re all starting to think about presents. But do we ever think about where the money actually comes from to pay for our presents?

Might sound like an odd question, as it shouldn’t matter right? But what about if that money was coming from public spending budgets? Then, surely there is a need to know where the money was coming from and what it is actually being used for.

It’s the same story for our latest feature combining Akvo Openaid and Akvo RSR. We’ve not yet coined the proper term for this link, so for now I’m calling it “The journey from one end to the other” – it’s awful on purpose, I’m hoping one of my colleagues or our partners has a much better idea.

Start at the top

So, how does “The journey from one end to the other” or TJFOETTO actually work? Well, governments, in this case more specifically the Dutch Government, is publishing its financial information using the IATI Standard and visualising this information via our Akvo Openaid platform. This information contains the high level funding details for projects being implemented worldwide. When you look at this information though, you are often missing the details – a big program might have a few yearly budget totals, but seeing an amount of €1.2M on a programme, doesn’t really show you how people will benefit. Many programmes are tens or even hundreds of millions of Euros in size.

Then start at the bottom

Akvo RSR on the other hand has quite granular information about specific projects and programs being carried out by NGOs and Multilaterals globally. The details are shown of how much money these organisations are putting into the projects, but the problem I started with exists, that you don’t know where this money actually comes from.

Meeting in the middle

By linking the two of these systems, we have created a way for you to see what funds come from where, and how this is being spent. So, if you find a funding activity on the Akvo Openaid site, such as the Connect4Change Consortia funding activity, you will be able to search within Akvo RSR for all the projects that are linked to this funding activity. The buttons on the Openaid site will be released later this week, but for now you can see All Related Projects and All Linked Organisations within RSR.

Of course this is only one side of the picture. You might already be viewing a project in RSR and want to see where the funding came from. So, taking this ICT Project from Connect4Change, it has a budget of €170,848. Following the funding link on the right hand side you’ll see the funding overview page, which displays that these funds were provided by Edukans. The IATI Activity Id is being displayed below the amount, and this is now clickable and will direct you to the Akvo Openaid page for the Connect4Change Consortia showing you the original amount being provided by the Dutch Government.

I can’t speak for anyone else, or you, but I find this fascinating and nifty – at the same time! What was previously a journey into mystery is now a journey from top to bottom, and back.

The extent of information currently linked is limited, but we will be working closely with our partners to get more projects linked to original funding activities, allowing you to TJFOETTO for more and more projects in RSR.

This feature is now live on Akvo RSR v2.1.2 – the release notes for this are available here.