• Written by Emily Armanetti
    15 July 2016

Above (from left to right): Juho Molsa, Julia Ojanen, Mika Välitalo and Aaro Keipi of Plan International Finland. Helsinki, Finland. 2 June 2016. Photo by Loic Sans.

Plan International is a global children’s charity that works to advance children’s rights and achieve equality for girls. In Finland, the organisation works across a number of themes – from child protection to youth economic empowerment to gender equality – to drive development projects and child sponsorship at a national level, as well as in a number of developing countries.

Plan Finland receives funding from individual donors, corporate partners, The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU and the UN. In a complex network of funding, it is critical to understand where money flows. One of Plan Finland’s key strategic directions in 2015 was enhanced transparency. The organisation was looking to be more open by reporting according to the standards set by the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which is an open standard for the publication of aid information that helps to make development aid more transparent.

Bringing the project portfolio online

Akvo and Plan Finland are working together to bring the organisation’s project portfolio online, visualise it on the Plan Finland website, and publish it to the IATI registry. With Akvo RSR they can quickly and easily publish projects in an IATI compatible format and showcase them online in a clear and accessible way, making RSR a useful internal and external communications tool.

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Above: using Akvo RSR helps Plan Finland show the range of their work online, making it visible, searchable and discoverable.

Making the most of Akvo RSR

Recent enhancements to Akvo RSR, like the new reporting features and results framework, mapped directly onto the needs of Plan Finland as they looked to increase transparency across the organisation. At the same time, Plan Finland has led the way in using RSR to it’s full potential, as one of the first partners to use many of the new features to transform their approach to reporting and monitoring. 

RSR’s results reporting feature has helped Plan Finland to monitor the progress of each project while being open and transparent. Over the last year, the team at Plan Finland has been adding results data in the Akvo RSR results framework. This gives an overview of all results, indicators, indicator periods and data associated with a particular project. Project officers and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) managers can use this framework to report on and keep track of progress against specific indicators, within specified periods of time, making it easy for Plan Finland to share the results they’ve achieved at regular intervals and reducing the reporting burden on the team.  

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Above: a custom report with Plan Finland’s detailed project information and results generated using RSR. (Update 19 July 2016: the report is currently in draft. It will be fully public when finalised and we will add a link to it.)

Plan Finland also worked with Akvo to define and create a custom template for reports, making them Akvo’s first partner to completely create their reports based on this easy to use reporting tool. Now, with one mouse-click, all of the project information, including photos and related results, is compiled into one complete package, which can then be exported from RSR – laid out and ready to print or distribute. 

Emily Armanetti is a communications manager at Akvo. Follow her @earmanetti.

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