An open-source datastore for IATI data with RESTful web API providing XML, JSON, CSV plus ETL tools
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IATI Datastore

Build Status Coverage Status Code Health License: MIT


The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) aims to make information about aid spending easier to access. To this end, we publish the IATI standard and keep a registry of data in that form.

The IATI Datastore is provided to help users of IATI's data access the extracts they are interested in. A public instance is available here:


You will need Redis, Postgres, python, pip and develpment libraries (for libpq, libxml2 and libxslt) to run the full setup. For example, on Ubuntu:

sudo aptitude install postgresql redis-server python-pip libpq-dev libxml2-dev libxslt-dev libevent-dev python-dev

Installing for development

# Clone the source
git clone

# Install development dependencies 
pip install -r requirements_dev.txt

# Run the tests  (these tests use an in-memory sqlite db)
nosetests iati_datastore

# Create a new PostgreSQL database
sudo -u postgres psql -c "CREATE DATABASE iati_datastore"

# Set an environment variable for `DATABASE_URL` linking to the database created
export DATABASE_URL=postgres:///iati_datastore

# Create the db tables
iati create_database

# Note: To create the tables the new database may need access privileges granted to your system user
# See
sudo -u postgres psql -c "CREATE USER [SYSTEM USER]"
sudo -u postgres psql -c "GRANT ALL ON DATABASE iati_datastore TO [SYSTEM USER]"

# Start the process of grabbing the source data
iati crawl update

# Start a development server – this should be run in a seperate terminal window
iati runserver

# Run a worker. This will download and index the datafiles
iati queue background

# The progess of the worker can be checked using:
iati crawl status

# A local API is available at:

Deploying with apache

  • Install the requirements listed above

  • Install Apache and mod_wsgi

      sudo aptitude install apache2 libapache2-mod-wsgi
  • Clone the source

  • Install pip install -e iati_datastore

  • Create a database (in postgres), and set an environment variable DATABASE_URL. e.g.:

      sudo -u postgres createdb iati-datastore -O my_username -E utf-8
      export DATABASE_URL='postgres:///iati-datastore'
  • Run iati create_database to create the db tables

  • Set up a cron job for updates. (Add the following line after running crontab -e)

      0 0 * * * export DATABASE_URL='postgres:///iati-datastore'; /usr/local/bin/iati crawl update
  • Run a worker with iati queue background

    • This needs to persist when you close your ssh connection. A simple way of doing this is using screen.
  • Set up apache using mod_wsgi

  • Create a datastore.wsgi file containing this code (this is necessary because Apache's mod wsgi handles environment variables differently):

      import os
      os.environ['DATABASE_URL'] = 'postgres:///iati-datastore'
      from iatilib.wsgi import app as application
  • Add this inside the <VirtualHost> tags of your apache configuration:

      WSGIDaemonProcess datastore user=my_username group=my_username
      WSGIProcessGroup datastore
      WSGIScriptAlias / /home/datastore/datastore.wsgi

Updating activities after changing import code

  • Run this SQL query on the database - UPDATE resource SET last_succ=NULL;
  • Restart background process
  • Run iati crawl update (or wait for cron to run it for you)