Matt Bartlett ~ Project Manager
{posted_on3_text} Overview
2014-11-30
Interactive IATI data – d-portal generator

d-portal is a platform that makes all IATI data accessible, and is a useful tool for investigating the increasing amount of IATI data. Nearly 300 organisations publish their activities in the IATI registry, so we set up d-portal to turn that data into simple information for everyone – particularly those in developing countries interested in seeing information from their own country’s perspective. In addition to this, we recently added the generator - to provide a means of re-using the IATI data in d-portal, by embedding it into other websites and blog posts.

How to select and embed content

Here we give you some examples of information you can show using the d-portal generator - these are various randomly chosen examples of data which are currently published to IATI, but of course you can choose any current publisher, or combinations of publishers and recipients, depending on what information you want to display.

This is a snapshot of a simple query we've run on the generator...choosing Development Initiatives from the Publisher dropdown, and then the 'Sectors (table)' view...

gen screen - DIPR sectors search

...and here's the resulting table - which we've embedded below by copying the code generated in the white box (above), and pasting it into the html code for this webpage. You can now click on information in the table, to explore further...

By changing around what you select in the generator dropdowns you can create a variety of different content - here's a few more examples of content that we generated from the IATI data in d-portal. We'd love to hear your feedback from using d-portal and the generator - please do email us any thoughts and feedback.

See here for more information about DI's IATI data.

d-portal generator examples...

(Publisher) ActionAid International ~ (View) List of activities (5) ~ Mustard ~ 750 pixels

(Recipient) Angola ~ (View) Top Donors for a single recipient (graph) ~ High

(Publisher) The World Bank ~ (View) Map ~ 750 pixels

(Publishers) WaterAid, United Nations Childrens Fund, The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, Heifer International South Africa ~ (Recipient) Liberia ~ (View) Recipients (table) ~ 750 pixels

Matt Bartlett ~ Project Manager
{posted_on3_text} Overview
2014-11-28
Bringing IATI data to life: d-portal generator

The generator is a new d-portal feature that allows users to select subsets of International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) information from the d-portal website and embed them into their own websites and blogs.

What is d-portal?

d-portal is a platform that makes all IATI data available and accessible for anyone to explore. We set it up with the aim of allowing people in developing countries to view IATI information from their own country’s perspective. Nearly 300 organisations currently publish data on their activities to the IATI registry - d-portal transforms this machine-readable data into information for humans to understand. It shows you all published IATI data from the point of view of a recipient country or a publisher, and gives you the chance to drill down to individual project detail. Users can see what data exists, who has published and who hasn’t yet, and where there are data quality issues.

What does the d-portal generator do?

There is a huge amount of interesting information within IATI (and therefore, d-portal) and significant value in being able to share bite-size pieces of it freely on other websites and blogs. The d-portal generator allows users to select specific information from d-portal and embed it directly into their own website code.

How do you use the generator?

There are lots of combinations and possibilities of what to choose when selecting from the vast amount of data in d-portal, so we tried to make the process as simple as possible…

Gen front page

1. Choose a combination of Publisher(s) & Recipient(s) information to view
2. Select how you want to display it (a map, table, list, pie chart, etc)
3. Select a colour scheme and re-size the width if required

Once you’ve completed steps 1 & 2 (3 is optional), you’ll see some code appear automatically in the white box, and an example of your selected content below that box (as below). You then just need to copy the code and paste it into the code of your website or blog post, to embed the content you’ve generated.

GAVI screen

Here’s the live example of the content which we've chosen, and embedded into this page:

Once you’ve embedded any content it will update automatically (overnight) as publishers’ data is updated in the IATI registry. When users click on the content they will be directed to the relevant page on d-portal so they can investigate further.

We have used the tool to embed a simple table about our IATI data here. We have also created a page showing some more examples of what you can do with d-portal generator content here.

More about…

IATI data includes data from donor governments and multilaterals, NGOs, foundations and private sector companies. It is forward-looking (it contains 2015 data from many publishers), comparable and increasingly comprehensive.

Both the d-portal and the d-portal generator are currently in beta. We’d love to hear your feedback, so please let us know if you use either d-portal or the generator, and tell us about your experience; please send comments, queries and feedback to support@iatistandard.org, or raise issues on the d-portal GitHub.

If you are interested in finding out more or part-funding d-portal, please contact support@iatistandard.org

Matt Bartlett ~ Project Manager
{posted_on3_text} Overview
2014-05-28
Current plans

Following an initial period of development in the first quarter of 2014, and the launch at the Global Partnership meeting in April, d-portal is now entering a period of consolidation and consultation. During this 3-4 month period we are aiming to do the following...

  • Stabilise the code base
  • Enable easy adoption of the code for anyone to create and customise individual country d-portals
  • Allow the addition of other datasets as simply as possible
  • Develop full guidance for those adopting the code
  • Write up comprehensive documentation and methodology
  • Consult with potential users around the longer term direction for d-portal
  • Consider means of funding and sustaining support and updates for d-portal

This page will contain any updates to information, and announcements on d-portal over the coming months. If you would like to keep up to date with news on d-portal please subscribe to the Google group.

Get in touch...

If you have any queries about d-portal, any comments or suggestions please do contact us at support@iatistandard.org

Kriss ~ Lead Developer
{posted_on3_text} Technical
2014-05-08
Development Portal Architecture

...or 'Why we chose to use ECMAScript'.

We've been working on a project to build a re-usable piece of code that can be easily hosted by anyone, anywhere and that will tell an interesting story using IATI data, under the working title; D-Portal https://github.com/devinit/D-Portal

We were asked to build a HTML5 serverless design that would be easy to deploy and configure, so it was inevitable that ECMAScript (i.e. Javascript) would have to be used browser side.

Languages are always a contentious issue among programmers and picking a language to use for a project is not only a matter of compromise but something that has to be decided on rather quickly or it becomes very hard to make any progress.

We soon discovered that we would also need to have a server side component, something that processes raw data and makes it available to the client in a more digestible format. This could be written in any language but we chose to use a node server. Primarily this allows the same code to be shared between server and client and reduces code dependencies.

On top of this we use a zero configuration database (SQLite) so there is no need to install, configure and maintain a complicated database server.

Even if you do not consider yourself an ECMAScript programmer the ubiquity of the language online means that you have almost certainly worked with it, maybe you even consider it your second language. It is quite simply the language of the web and although Node is still rather new, what it represents is an inevitable, unstoppable spread of the language onto the server.



Originally posted on http://iati.github.io/