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International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) XML Schemas

Release 2.03, Unreleased

This directory contains version 2.03 of the IATI XML schemas. More information about these schemas is available at

This directory contains the following files:

File Description
README.rst This file.
CHANGES.txt Change log.
iati-activities-schema.xsd XML Schema for describing aid activities (e.g. projects).
iati-organisations-schema.xsd XML schema for describing aid organisations and their budgets.
iati-common.xsd A supplementary schema with common IATI markup. Must be in the same directory as the above.
xml.xsd A supplementary schema that must be in the same directory as the above.
iati-registry-record-schema.xsd An application-specific extension schema for importing documents into the IATI registry.
tests/ Unit tests for the schemas.

Dev Installation

# Create and start a virtual environment
$ python3 -m venv pyenv
$ source pyenv/bin/activate

# Install Python package dependencies
$ pip install -r requirements-dev.txt


There are two types of tests:

Legacy tests

A series of short XML documents are included in the tests/**/should-pass and tests/**/should-fail directories (and sub-directories). These files test elements and attributes added pre-version 2.03 and offer a simple pass/fail check when parsed against the schemas in this distribution.

These tests can be run using:

$ xmllint --schema --noout *.xsd
$ ./tests/

Tests for elements/attributes added in v2.03

A new test structure was added at version 2.03, with additional test cases added to tests/should-pass and tests/should-fail directories (and sub-directories). Directory structure is based upon the schema. Each element has a folder based on its name and is nested accordingly. Attributes also have folders but their folder names are prepended by an underscore.

All XML test cases in the should-fail directory are tested to be valid XML but invalid against the distributed IATI schemas. The expected reason for failure (for example, a missing required attribute) in each test case is asserted.

We use pytest as a test runner to check the validity of these files against the defined schema.

$ pytest

Test file naming syntax

should-fail test file names should begin with one of the following strings, depending on the expected failure type:

  • err-not-iati-xml-missing-required-element
  • err-not-iati-xml-missing-attribute
  • err-not-iati-xml-forbidden-attribute
  • err-not-iati-xml-incorrect-datatype

Additional test descriptions may be added to the file name following an underscore, like so:


The files are now parsed with etree.fromstring. If an XMLSchemaError is raised during the parsing, the beginning of the file name is compared against Regex for the four possible error types above. For example, the error raised from err-not-iati-xml-missing-required-element_document-link-with-multiple-description-elements.xml is expected to match the Regex:

Element '[a-z-]*?': ((Missing child element\(s\)\.)|(This element is not expected\.)) Expected is( one of)? \( [#\*a-z-\s,]*? \)\.


David Megginson <> for his original work on the IATI Schemas and continued support and involvement.


Schema development for the International Aid Transparency Initiative.




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