Share views and join user-testing for IATI’s new community platform (November 12th)

Dear Discuss-community,

We have exciting news to share with you! As laid out in IATI’s Workplan 2020, approved by the Governing Board in late 2019, the IATI Secretariat will be launching a new digital community platform by the end of the year. IATI’s new platform will be more inclusive with lots of useful new features. Here are a few:

● Automated translations of all posts in multiple language;
● New Communities of Practice where stakeholder groups can discuss their specific open data and IATI needs with their peers;
● General discussions feature (like IATI Discuss!);
● A dedicated resource library and training portal;

Oh no - are IATI Discuss posts disappearing??

No, definitely not. We are working to ensure that all content (live and archived) on Discuss will be transferred to the new platform and Discuss users will smoothly transition onto the new platform with as little change to your user experience as possible.
The Secretariat is working hard to plan this transition and Discuss will not be archived until the new platform has been tested, is up and running and working well. The Secretariat will ensure all Discuss users are able to easily move onto the new platform and inform you accordingly.

Share your views and join user-testing on Thursday November 12th

As some of the most active members of our community, your feedback on the new community platform is very valuable. To that end we would like to invite you to an online user testing workshop of the new platform on Thursday 12th of November 9-10am (NYC), 2-3pm (WAT / UK), 3-4pm (CET). We only have limited spaces as we want to ensure a manageable and interactive workshop. Want to join? Express your interest in this user-testing workshop before November 1st via

The Secretariat is here to help! Please also share your views or comments on the (technical) migration from Discuss to IATI’s new community-platform with me via

Sander Hees
Community Facilitator – IATI Secretariat

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Reminder to express your interest in joining the user-testing for IATI’s new community platform (November 12th). We have a few places still available.

1st November deadine

Hi @sanderhees, welcome to the community and to discuss :slight_smile:

I will be joining!

In the meantime, could I ask where I might be able to find the original terms of reference, user stories, and any other relevant materials for this project? There’s no mention of it in the strategic plan, and although I see some mention in the board minutes from November 2019 onward, there is no more detail than a record of it’s proposal and an initial budget of $80,000.

Looking forward to seeing what’s been built, but just want to know what the aims and expectations should be!

Thank you!

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Hi @rory_scott, thank you!! And it’s great to hear you’ll be joining November 12th. I’ll share the invite and some additional information via e-mail shortly.

In short: as you mentioned already, in 2019, IATI members approved the Strategic Plan (2020-2025) that lists the strengthening of the IATI community, as well as the initiation of a combination “Working Groups” and “Communities of Practice” model to promote knowledge-sharing and peer-learning around the publishing and use of IATI data, as key priorities. What this means in practice is that IATI would like to build on its existing, but relatively decentralised, community of practitioners (currently more than 400 people in its Discuss platform) to establish a stronger knowledge-sharing infrastructure and technical tools to facilitate access to guidance products, promote interactive online learning opportunities, and support collaboration to strengthen the impact and quality of IATI data worldwide.

Hope this clarifies a bit, expect my Outlook invite for November 12th shortly.



Hi @sanderhees and welcome to IATI :slight_smile: and discuss.

I’d be happy to chip in. Am I correct in understanding a platform(?) of sorts has been developed by now and is to be launched end of year!? If so under what conditions and specifications has this been developed and what is the foundation (functional requirements etc.) for this ‘platform’? At what costs has this been developed? Has this been developed in the IATI spirit of open-source code (as with all other IATI software tools around) or not? I was unable to find any codebase for a new community platform on

In light of @rory_scott’s request I’d also be interested to learn who developed that new (community) platform and also eager to learn how this went out to procurement? Was the community notified of some tender (ToR) for this work? IATI does publish tenders well below the $80,000 marker.

Very interested to learn what this platform entails but as interested how this work came to life in the first place.

In the light of transparency accountability (IATI…) this is now pretty vague~ish and should be explained in most transparent way possible to the community it serves and its members imho.

I don’t mean to be break the positive mood, but this process is now extremely unclear.

Hi All

Coming in here with the background for this work and to try to bring back the positive mood! For sure we need some positivity as it’s election day today here in the US, and we’re all holding our collective breath…

The Board was presented with the idea of an IATI Community platform to facilitate the establishment of the planned Communities of Practices (and help support collaboration for Working Groups) in their November 2019 meeting and approved the approach at that time, as published in its minutes Rory has mentioned.

Budget was allocated to this activity and included in the 2020 work plan, and approved by the Governing Board as an important feature to support the new Working Groups and COPs. With UNDP leading on Community work, the Board was also made aware that UNDP would use its established Long Term Agreement (LTA) for community engagement platforms as a procurement approach at this time, to maximize cost efficiency and to ensure the project could be delivered within the necessary time frame. The procurement process through LTA is itself a rigorous two-step competitive process in which specific projects are sent out to all LTA holders for bids, which are then evaluated on a cost/value basis.

This project followed these UNDP procurement guidelines; the Terms of Reference for the project were reviewed by the Governing Board and circulated for bids to all UNDP LTA holders. The Board has been updated on progress during each quarterly meeting.

I really do want to emphasise the great progress here - the team has been working incredibly hard on both policy and tools to get COPs and WGs up and running so that we can really engage well as a community across a range of different subjects. It’s especially important during these times when we can’t have face to face meetings.

Please do get involved in the user testing and stay in touch with us with any feedback!

All the best, Annelise


Thanks @aparr for the explainer.

As I -and many other I believe- was unaware of how this came to life. Your outline clearly clarifies the procedures. Thanks for this.

And hope everyone is breathing again in the US after the election week… :sun_behind_small_cloud:

Looking forward to the new community platform.

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Dear Discuss-community,

As you know we will be migrating this platform, both content and users, to the new IATI Connect platform. As of Wednesday 25 of November - 12pm (GMT/UTC) IATI Discuss will be in read-only mode. This allows us to move all content over for the launch on the 30th.

The new IATI Connect will have:

  • A dedicated space for the Discuss-Archive (containing our current Discuss and a link to existing archive);
  • Ongoing / specific discussions will be integrated into the new IATI Communities, and would hopefully provide an opportunity to widen the audience and embed it into the wider IATI discussions;
  • IATI-wide consultations and technical discussions, such as the Standard Management category, will be housed under the IATI Connect Consultations;

What does this mean for you in practice?

  • Every migration takes some time. Therefore, as of Wednesday 25th of November - 12pm (GMT/UTC) the Discuss-content and users will be ‘on the move’. Any changes made on Discuss post 12pm (should be disabled) and will definitely not be moved across to the new platform.
  • You will all receive a notification (by email) once we have arrived at our new location: IATI Connect. Through that notification you will be assigned a new profile on the platform (which is pre-arranged) and additional relevant onboarding information.

Once you access your profile, you’ll be able to join a Community of Practice, register for events, contribute to discussions, see other content specific to those groups, and much more.

Of course we hope everything will go smoothly, but every migration is exciting. In case you have any questions or comments please send us an email through

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to seeing you ‘on the other side’.


IATI Secretariat