Fundraisers and business developers across the industry agree that early information on donor-funded programs and activities is key in defining their strategy to win that funding.
However, as in many other sectors, data transparency and accessibility are not always as strong as we would expect, given the technological possibilities. Moreover, when such data is available, its sources may be varied and its formatting is often not user-friendly. This makes finding and tracking funding opportunities more complex — but Devex is working to cut through the complexity.
Consider how the European Commission releases early-stage funding information. The release of the Commission's Annual Action Programs, AAPs, and their annexes are the earliest stage of the funding cycle at which the Commission specifies activity-level funding commitments. Each AAP is a financing decision, which includes the “decision” itself — the legal text — and one or more annexes, depending on the number of programs covered. These annexes are commonly called "action fiches," and specify the type of intervention the program plans, its objectives, its management procedures, an indicative amount of financing, and other details. Compared with other donors' publicly available early-stage funding data, the action fiches are a goldmine of information for understanding EuropeAid's future plans.
One challenge in making use of this data is that it is released in lengthy PDF documents. Since early 2017, Devex has been tracking the release of AAPs and action fiches, extracting the funding data they contain, and republishing it in two forms for our members: first, as individual funding activities, which are accessible, searchable, and filterable in our funding database; and second, as an interactive visualization that allows you to filter by funding instrument, sector, and implementation modality, among others variables, in order to do your own analysis.