Recent Posts

December 2017

Strengthening Côte d’Ivoire’s health sector with open data

Researchers from AidData will travel to Côte d’Ivoire to lead development of a USAID-funded geospatial data center.

A USAID Preventative Mini-University in Côte d'Ivoire.
November 2017

Decoding Data Use: What evidence do world leaders want to achieve their goals?

A new AidData report illuminates the black box of how leaders source evidence and use it to accelerate development in low- and middle-income countries.

Cover image of new report, Decoding data use: How do leaders source data and use it to accelerate development?
November 2017

Realizing Agenda 2030: Not just more, but better financing needed to succeed

How do the global goals crowd in international financing and inform domestic priorities? A new AidData report assesses the historical baseline for funding to the SDGs.

October 2017

AidData releases first-ever global dataset on China’s development spending spree

Five years in the making, AidData’s data collection effort has captured more than USD $350 billion in foreign aid and other forms of state financing that China committed to five major regions of the world.

Piles of 100 notes of Chinese Yuan — AidData releases first ever dataset on Chinese global development spending
September 2017

Beyond the Tyranny of Averages: AidData report highlights unequal development within countries

Relying on averages is worsening inequality within countries. We look at whether aid financing reaches the poorest regions, and find that donors are missing the mark.

September 2017

Success in the streets: A hackathon for Sustainable Cities

#Hack4TheCity focused on the challenges and opportunities for sustainable growth in Uganda's cities.

AidData Summer Fellow Allison Bowers worked to answer a team’s questions at the 2017 RAN-AidData GIS Hackathon.
September 2017

Harnessing open data to help the most vulnerable in Uganda

One organization in Kampala is working to make open data more usable and accessible for citizens.

A storm gathers over farmland in the hills near Lake Mutanda, Uganda. Uganda’s farmers are under threat from increasing extreme weather events.
September 2017

Foreign aid's commitment problem

For development agencies and country governments to reach “go” on aid policies—and then uphold their commitments—is no small feat.

Mixed signals? For development agencies and country governments to reach “go” on aid policies — and then uphold their commitments — is no small feat.
September 2017

Where is AidData heading next? A sneak peek at our 3-year strategic vision

We'll work to produce cutting-edge innovations in data, methods, and analysis to help leaders in development make better-informed decisions.

September 2017

Building a geospatial revolution

Geocoding the globe! In our five years of partnership with USAID, we located over 130,000 development activities and $750 billion in assistance.

AidData's Pat Austria (College of William and Mary Class of '13) speaks at the U.S. Global Development Lab Launch April 3, 2014. Photo by David Trichler for AidData, all rights reserved.
September 2017

Supporting evaluation at USAID through a global research network

Lowering the barriers for researchers to collaborate directly with those who set development policy means innovations reach the field sooner.

AidData Geospatial Assistant Qiao Li leads an Intro to ArcGIS training session during the first AidData Research Consortium (ARC) convening in January 2014.
August 2017

Expanding USAID's capacity for data-driven decisions

AidData Summer Fellows afford USAID Missions the opportunity to establish a basis for sustained geospatial work to enhance their development programs.

This visualization of Rwanda, constructed by AidData Fellow Joshua Okafor, illustrates the location of public and faith-based health centers and their proximity to paved roads, overlaid by a heatmap of contraceptive use. As the gradient moves from yellow to blue, levels of contraceptive use increase.
August 2017

Spreading geocoded aid information through the AidData Summer Fellows

Student fellows funded by USAID have spread geospatial data and analysis to development organizations that can best use it to improve their communities.

AidData Summer Fellow Amy Leung gives a training on OpenStreetMap at ANSA-EAP. Photo by AidData, all rights reserved.
August 2017

Allocating funding fairly in Nepal

Geocoded data has empowered government officials to more effectively negotiate with donors and advance Nepal’s development interests.

Image adapted from map of Nepal's overfunded and underfunded districts, by literacy rate. Dark brown districts had less funding and lower literacy; dark blue districts had more funding and higher literacy. Map by Doug Nicholson for AidData, all rights reserved.
August 2017

Making development data fit for purpose in Senegal

By calling attention to barriers to the use of development data and making actionable recommendations, an AidData report helped renew investment in Senegal's aid management platform.

Containers stacked high at Dakar, Senegal’s capital city and a major port.
July 2017

Papers selected for workshop on tracking international aid from emerging economies

Twelve teams of 27 authors will present their proposals at a workshop this September in Heidelberg, Germany.

New land emerges from the sea at the US$1.4 billion Chinese-backed Port City project near Sri Lanka’s main port, part of Beijing's ambitious global expansion of investment and aid.
July 2017

AidData DREAMS at #AfData17 to allocate HIV/AIDS resources more effectively

Our PEPFAR-funded project is working to improve targeting of aid investments for reducing HIV/AIDs rates among young women.

Data for Development in Africa was a two-day event demonstrating how data innovation can improve lives and livelihoods across the region.
June 2017

AidData-Afrobarometer partnership produces geocoded public-attitude survey data for 37 African countries

The new dataset represents the most precise and consistent geocoding of Afrobarometer's surveys to date.

Map displaying the number of locations geocoded per country for 37 countries in Africa (Afrobarometer Rounds 1-6). Source: AidData.
June 2017

From Williamsburg to the world: AidData Summer Fellows launch their journey

Announcing the Summer Fellows Class of 2017, and a new gift to support international experiential learning and research.

Bon voyage and congratulations to the 2017 AidData Summer Fellows! Earlier this month the Fellows scattered out to NGOs across the globe.
May 2017

When does multilateral development finance provide better value-for-money?

AidData's Brad Parks, Mike Tierney, and Daniel Nielson highlight insights from their co-edited special issue of the Review of International Organizations.

Participants convene at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings 2013. Photo by Dasan Bobo/World Bank, licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
April 2017

Fanning the sparks of corruption? A Chinese dragon haunts Tanzania

Chinese aid's lack of transparency leads to questions about whether it will contribute to or undermine other development efforts, particularly those of traditional donors like the World Bank.

A street market in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, fills up early in the morning.
April 2017

Call for Proposals: Workshop on tracking international aid from emerging economies

Submit a one-page proposal to receive pre-publication access to unpublished datasets, including AidData's forthcoming China global dataset, and to present at Heidelberg University this September.

Heidelberg Castle in Heidelberg, Germany, lights up on a warm summer night. Photo by Raul Lieberwith , licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
April 2017

Data for development: Measuring only what we use

Every dollar spent on data is a dollar not spent on life-saving vaccines or key environmental protections — so we should not collect data that we will not use.

A lightshow to launch the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is seen on the facades of the General Assembly and Secretariat buildings in New York City on September 22nd, 2015.
March 2017

Avoiding Data Graveyards: How can we overcome barriers to data use?

Development practitioners track mortality rates for scourges like HIV/AIDS, and malaria. But nobody tracks the mortality rate of data.

Development practitioners track mortality rates for scourges like HIV/AIDS, and malaria. But nobody tracks the mortality rate of data.
March 2017

No one left behind: Why we need granular data to respond to hotspots in the U.S. and beyond

The story of why deadly "hotspots" of high lead levels in U.S. neighborhoods went undetected for years, and how data can help address these pockets of inequality.

The Flint Water Plant tower in Flint, MI. As of 2017, the Flint water crisis remains ongoing. Photo by George Thomas, licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
March 2017

Counting the “missing millions”: Disruptive ideas to leave no one behind

Three reasons why the status quo of development data isn't good enough—and three examples of how we can change it.

Samantha Custer, Director of Policy Analysis for AidData, (second from right) moderates a panel discussion on 'The "Missing Millions" and Data Collaboratives’ in Cape Town, South Africa during the 2017 UN World Data Forum. Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth.
February 2017

What are development corridor strategies, and do they work?

Liberia made foreign direct investment (FDI) the centerpiece of its development strategy. We examine how these natural resource concessions affected local economic growth.

Sunrise in Beira, Mozambique in 2011. Photo by Andrew Moore, licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0).
February 2017

Chinese-funded infrastructure in endangered forests: What is the data telling us?

The picture becomes clearer when breaking down the effects within each country.

The first Chinese-backed railway, Tazara Rail (pictured above), was funded in the 1970s. Now China has agreed to help Tanzania build a new 2,561km railway worth USD 7 billion that will run between the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam and the Great Lakes states of Rwanda and Burundi.
February 2017

Want to reform aid? Double down on impact evaluations

More investment in evaluation would determine which types of projects deliver the best results, and reassure American taxpayers that foreign aid can provide good value-for-money.

US and Philippines soldiers unload relief supplies to a school on Panay Island in the Philippines. Photo by DVIDSHUB, licensed under (CC BY 2.0).
February 2017

AidData launches new Listening to Leaders survey

The survey will collect data from thousands of leaders on which development partners they prefer to work with, and why.

Grey letters on a green background read: "Listening to Leaders."
January 2017

Is governance data “good enough”? World leaders want more transparency, greater context

Relevance and credibility rise to the top as key attributes of good governance data, snap poll finds.

Information cards sit on a table at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Regional Meeting for Europe 2014. Photo by Open Government Partnership, licensed under (CC BY 2.0).
January 2017

Using machine learning to combat environmental degredation on a global scale

Leveraging machine learning algorithms to sift through terabytes of high-resolution satellite data, a new report by AidData and the Global Environment Facility has identified the factors that contribute to land degradation on a global scale.

A bird's eye view of the stark contrast between the forest and agricultural landscapes near Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Photo by Kate Evans for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

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