Journal on Data Semantics

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 187–211 | Cite as

Linked Data for the International Aid Transparency Initiative

  • Karel S. Brandt
  • Victor de Boer
Original Article


It is widely recognized that the effectiveness of aid can be improved by providing transparent insight into aid activities. The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), a multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid, has developed an open standard for the publication of aid information. As of 2013, over 150 donors, NGOs and governments have registered to the IATI registry by publishing their aid activities in this XML standard. Taking the IATI model as an input, we have created a Linked Data model based on requirements elicitated from qualitative interviews using an iterative requirements engineering methodology. We have converted the IATI open data from a central registry to Linked Data and linked it to various other datasets such as World Bank indicators and DBpedia information. This dataset is made available for re-use at To demonstrate the added value of this Linked Data approach, we have created several applications which combine the information from the IATI dataset and the datasets it was linked to. As a result, we have shown that creating Linked Data for the IATI dataset and linking it to other datasets give new valuable insights in aid transparency. Based on actual information needs of IATI users, we were able to show that linking IATI data adds significant value to the data and enables fulfilling the needs of IATI users.


Linked Data Data enrichment Linked Data applications ICT 4 development Open development  Aid transparency data 



We would like to thank Tim Davies for his help on the Linked Data model and general explanations of the IATI model. We thank Christophe Guéret and Paul Groth for their feedback on the model. Finally, we thank Siem Vaessen and Vincent van ’t Westende for their thoughts on and explanations of the IATI model.

Supplementary material

13740_2014_48_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (138 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 137 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of SciencesVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of SciencesThe Network Institute, VU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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