Activity file


The activity file contains the data defined by the IATI activity standard.

It is an XML file, containing the relevant IATI activity standard fields for the publishing organisation.


When using the IATI activity standard to produce an activity-file, the following should be considered:

  • An IATI publisher should publish at least one activity file.

  • An activity file should contain at least one iati-activity

  • It should be updated at least annually.

  • It must be well-formed XML.

  • It must validate against the relevant version of the IATI activity schema

  • Any activity file must have iati-activities as the root element - to contain all other elements.

  • The generated-datetime attribute of iati-activities - a date/time stamp for when the activity-file was generated - is highly recommended.

  • The generated-datetime is declared at the iati-activities level. Is not necessarily the same as the last-updated-datetime for the individual iati-activity records within it.

  • Across a set of activity files published by a single organisation, individual iati-activity, referenced via a unique iati-identifier, should not be duplicated.

  • A link to the activity file(s) should be published on the IATI Registry.

  • Ideally, this link would be to an activity file(s) on the publisher website or open data portal. However, third party tools are available to generate and host files on behalf of publishers.

  • When creating the activity file it is recommended to avoid spaces and non-ascii characters in file names and urls. For example:
    • iatiactivity.xml is preferable to IATI Activity.xml.

    • is preferable to data/IATI Activity.xml.

2.01+ Considerations

In versions 2.01 and above, the following must also be considered:

  • It is recommended that a single activity-file does not exceed 40MB in file size.

  • Data publishers are encouraged to segment their data into ‘meaningful chunks’. Prior to version 2.01 they were encouraged to segment their data by country and/or regions. This is no longer necessarily considered to be best practice.

  • The order of the elements presented in an activity-file must follow the order set out in the schema.

  • The version of the IATI standard being used must be declared via the version attribute of the iati-activities element. This must be a valid value on the Version codelist.

Further Guidance