Geocoding is the process of tagging aid activity records with precise geographical information--in other words, rather than simply specifying the country where a project is being implemented, geocoding requires identifying the district, town, or even latitude and longitude where a project is active (and in many cases, a single project can be implemented in many separate locations across a country). Geocoding allows a wide range of stakeholders to easily understand where aid activities are taking place, to monitor implementation, and to evaluate their effectiveness.
AidData worked with Uppsala University’s Conflict Data Program to develop a comprehensive geocoding methodology that is both rigorous and flexible enough to be applied to all development aid projects. The methodology is referenced in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) data standard and can be downloaded for use by any organization at open.aiddata.org.
Organizations involved in designing, analyzing, implementing, and monitoring development projects around the world need tools and processes to manage and share location-based information on these activities. Working with your organization, AidData can:
1) Collect, standardize, and organize geo-enabled data. Teams of experienced researchers are available to geocode project data so that it can be used for maps and other visualizations. AidData has partnered with the World Bank Institute, through the Mapping for Results initiative, and works with the African Development Bank, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Malawi Ministry of Finance to geocode information.
2) Prepare visualizations and analytics that leverage the power of geo-enabled data. Once an organization has geo-enabled data, we work in partnership with Esri to visualize this information on state-of-the-art interactive maps. Custom dashboards that combine maps with graphs and charts support monitoring and evaluation efforts, and help analysts and decision-makers identify risks and define next steps.
3) Prepare implementation reports with recommendations. AidData works with organizations to determine challenges and opportunities to geo-enable their data collection and dissemination efforts, and prepare reports with actionable recommendations. Reports can include roadmaps for compliance with international data standards such as the aid information reporting standard developed by the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).
4) Build and implement custom IT solutions. Based on these reports and recommendations, Development Gateway can help design, integrate, and implement custom geo-enabled modules and applications that extend current client systems/processes to create sustainability. Mobile applications can be developed to enable real-time data collection and increase accessibility to broader user groups. Seamlessly integrated web and mobile applications offer organizations a comprehensive way to make their work more efficient and effective.
The video below provides an overview of AidData's Development Loop application, created with support from Esri, which leverages geocoded information to show where aid is actually going.