About FTS/ Using FTS data


What data can I find on FTS?

FTS tracks and publishes data on humanitarian funding flows. It presents this in a searchable, online database and also through two main lenses:

Data is searchable on a range of criteria including crisis, cluster, donor, agency, fund, project, priority, date and location. Users can download data and charts in a variety of formats (.csv, .xls and .png) and reuse it. Some users, such as HDX and IRIN, access the data via the API

Criteria for what's actually included on FTS are guided by a note produced in September 2004 by the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) Implementation Sub-Group on the Definition of Humanitarian Aid and based on IASC consolidated appeal (CAP) guidelines (1994). The current criteria, which explicitly distinguish international humanitarian aid from broader international aid and exclude government domestic spending (including on refugees), are currently under review. Please get in touch with the FTS team if you have views on this and/or would like to participate in the process/discussion.

Humanitarian principles and development cooperation

Humanitarian funding was designed to enable donors to allocate funding to organizational recipients for impartial humanitarian action on the basis of an agreed set of needs – the principles of which are enshrined in the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (1965), UN resolutions (including A/RES/46/182 (1991), the Good Humanitarian Donorship Principles (2003) and the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid. Unlike development financing, humanitarian funding generally bypasses affected government structures.  

Development financing, which is not included in FTS, largely centres on country ownership, alignment with country priorities and using country systems. Development actors initially made commitments to these principles as part of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005). They reaffirmed them in Accra (2008) and again in Busan (2011).

Data on official development assistance (ODA) is published by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). About 50 national governments that receive development financing have national aid management systems (AIMS) and platforms (AMPS), some of which are publicly available. See: Other data sources.

FTS systems are currently partially linked to the online project system (OPS) – a field-based coordination tool that supports humanitarian response plan development. This feeds funding requirement information into FTS.

FTS's information systems are managed by the humanitarian programme cycle information services (HPC-IS) team at OCHA, which is working to improve data transparency throughout the HPC. It aims to strengthen the links between humanitarian needs, planning, monitoring and funding information in order to help provide a more robust evidence base for strategic and operational decision-making. 

How often is information updated?

FTS data is continuously updated. Two full-time staff are dedicated to validating and reconciling incoming information and updating FTS data records on an ongoing basis. Additions and amendments made during the working day are generally published to the website at 02:00 Central European Time (CET) each day. During peak periods, and where contributions need to be reflected urgently, the data can be refreshed more frequently.

While FTS is committed to continuously processing and updating data records, it should be noted that organizations are able to report their information whenever they wish. There can be delays between a funding decision being made and that pledge or contribution being reported. Similarly, FTS cannot always predict the extent or complexity of incoming information and how long it will take to process. When several large agency or fund reports arrive at once, we prioritize on a first come-first serve basis. This standard process is reviewed and reprioritized when there are country-level emergencies and high-level events that require data support. 

We add around 11,000 new records each year, which equates to about 100 each working day.  

What’s not included?

FTS focuses on humanitarian funding flows. Data does not include:

  • a government's expenditure on crises within its own borders (except the in-country provision of funds whether from private or government sources, for projects in a response plan or appeal launched by an international organization)
  • a government's expenditure on refugees within its own borders
  • development data (except where funding has been reported for projects in an inter-agency response plan or appeal)
  • concessional finance and soft loans
  • remittances.

Who uses FTS data?

The data and information published by FTS is used by humanitarian coordinators and country teams, operational organizations, host governments, government and institutional donors, media, researchers, academics and think tanks for:

    • programming
    • resource mobilization
    • advocacy
    • research.

Can I use and republish the data and information published on FTS website/API?

Yes. FTS encourages the fair use of its data, graphs and reports. When directly copying and re-using graphs, tables, charts or data as published by FTS on this site, please cite the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), the publication date of the figures used and the relevant URL. If any amends are made to the data that you download or use via the API, or if the data is combined with another source or if the data, graphs and tables have been interpreted or amended in any way, we suggest the following citation: "[YOU/YOUR ORGANIZATION]...based on Financial Tracking Service (FTS) data, [DATE], [URL]."

We curate and publish data provided to us in good faith. We cannot be responsible for misinterpretation or misrepresentation of the data by third parties.

How can I access the data?

On FTS Beta, data can be downloaded from the data tab on individual appeal/response plan pages (navigated through the response plan/appeal overview page) and affected country pages – see download button under data tables.

FTS Beta data tab

Screengrab of the data tab on Iraq HRP page. Source: Financial Tracking Service (FTS).

FTS Beta data download button

Screengrab of the data download button on FTS Beta data tabs. Source: Financial Tracking Service (FTS).

To download charts, graphs and tables elsewhere on the site, hover over the bottom right of the image and click the download symbol. It gives you an option to download .png (image), .xls (Excel) and .csv files. 

Hover over the bottom right of the image and then click on 'download' for an image (.png) or data (.csv or .xls) file

Screengrab of the data download button on FTS Beta data tabs. Source: Financial Tracking Service (FTS).

We are redesigning FTS's custom search the area of the site that is crucial for analysts and those wishing to carry out their own research, build their own searches, tables and graphs, and those seeking to unlock the true potential of the data. We hope to roll this functionality out in beta during the first half of 2016, once our work to rebuild the underlying database and information systems has also been completed. 

In the meantime, the full FTS data sets are available via the API or the custom search on 'FTS classic'. From the custom search, you can download data by year or other chosen criteria. For example: 20152014, 2013 ...