A group of leading open data standards bodies and the JUDS project have announced an exciting new collaboration to tackle a shared problem: how to accurately identify organisations.
The identify-org initiative was launched on Friday 7 October at the International Open Data Conference in Madrid. It brings together key organisations driving standards for open data across a range of sectors, including contracting, extractives, international aid, agriculture and philanthropy. A challenge shared by all these initiatives is how to accurately and consistently identify an organisation. Whether it’s a charity in the UK, a company in Malaysia, or a government department in Canada, the ability to describe these different entities in a consistent way is key to opening and linking up data about their activities, ensuring it is accessible and useful.
The initiative will establish an open interface so that anyone can find known organisation registries. It will also embark on a research process to highlight others. Acting together, the International Aid Transparency Initiative, Open Contracting Partnership, 360Giving, Development Initiatives – as part of the Joined Up Data Standards project – and the Initiative for Open Ag Funding will build a key piece of open data infrastructure to enable the free exchange of information on entities, regardless of sector or jurisdiction.
To do this, the project partners have agreed to support efforts to gather and share information on different registers of organisations across the world, backed-up by a common methodology to describe these in open data. In turn, this will provide a foundation for the open data community to both share and use identifiers about organisations, using this common protocol.
The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) kick-started this work in 2012. IATI has agreed to share its initial efforts with identify-org, enabling others to build on the ‘list of lists’ of registries of organisations.
By working together, the project partners are pooling their knowledge of the different organisation registers that are currently available so it can be used by different standards bodies in a consistent way.
In addition to this important work on identifying organisations, the JUDS project is also supporting production of a report on universal methods to identify government agencies in the absence of other organisation identifiers – we will update on this as the work is undertaken towards the end of 2016.
For more details about identify-org visit: https://identify-org.net/
For more details about the eight project partners, visit: https://identify-org.net/supporters/