TUFF Glossary

Below is a glossary of terms and variables relating to AidData’s efforts to collect data on opaque donors using our Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF) methodology.  

Chinese Official Finance (Chinese OF): Concessional and non-concessional funding from Chinese government institutions (including central, state or local government institutions) with development, commercial or representational intent.

Official Development Assistance (ODA): Projects that are primarily aimed at development, include at least 25% concessionality, and have an ODA-eligible recipient (as defined by the OECD, based on country income level). For a project to be categorized as "ODA-like" in our database, the intent field must be set to "Development", and the flow type field must be a grant, grant-like (e.g. scholarships, technical cooperation), or a concessional loan. This definition is aligned with the OECD Development Assistance Committee Directives.

Other Official Flows (OOF): Projects that do not meet the criteria for ODA because they are: not primarily focused on development, not sufficiently concessional, or are provided to a country that is not eligible for ODA. For a project to be categorized as "OOF-like" in our database, the intent must be primarily commercial or representational, and/or include less than 25% concessionality.  This category includes export credits. This definition is aligned with the OECD Development Assistance Committee 2014-2015 Directives.

Vague Official Finance (Vague OF): Projects for that are officially financed, but for which there is not enough information about the level of concessionality level or intent to make a clear ODA or OOF determination. The OECD-DAC does not require this type of residual category because it members systematically report the intent and concessionality level of their officially-financed projects  

Health of Record Score: The value assigned by AidData to each record in the database that assesses its verifiability and completeness. The score is based upon two indicators: (1) verifiability -- the type and number of sources used to create the project record (i.e., Source Triangulation Score); and (2) completeness -- the availability of information on high-value fields (i.e., Data Field Completeness Score). AidData sums the two indicators to get the final "Health of Record" Score for each row. External users can use the Health of Record score to assess the reliability of a given project record. A combined score of less than 8 is low, 8-15 is good, and above 15 is very good.

Project Description Variables

Donor: Entity providing development assistance to a recipient country. This can be a sovereign state, multilateral organization, or any other official entity providing development assistance to a recipient country.

Project ID: Unique identification number assigned to every project that is created in the database. Within the searchable TUFF interface, projects can be accessed by ID numbers by using the “Access project by ID” function.

Umbrella: Identifies projects where some agreement was signed between two countries but the funds were not allocated at the original agreement date, only to be allocated through smaller projects later on.  Given the nature of TUFF data collection, it is likely that the smaller projects that relate to these umbrella projects were captured elsewhere in the dataset.  To avoid double counting, we suggest users do not include rows that are marked as umbrella projects in financial analysis. All general lines of credit are also marked as umbrella projects.

Agreement Year: The year in which an agreement was reportedly made between a supplier of development finance and a recipient for a project. If available, the agreement year is the year of the formal signed commitment for a project. If the commitment year is unavailable, or if a commitment has not been made, the year of the informal pledge is the agreement year for a project.

Year Uncertain: Marker for projects without any sources reporting a specific pledge or commitment year. In these cases, the year of the earliest source or media report serves as the "agreement year".

Funding Agency: Donor agency(ies) that provided the funding for the project.  

Title: Short phrase describing the nature of a given project.

Description: 1-2 paragraph comprehensive summary of the activities supported by the project. See page 15 of the methodology for a detailed explanation of how to record this variable.

CRS Sector: 3-digit sector classification based on OECD purpose codes, indicating the sector that the project is meant to foster, as below.

110 Education

120 Health

130 Population Policies / Programmes and Reproductive Health

140 Water Supply and Sanitation

150 Government and Civil Society (including peace and security 152)

160 Other Social infrastructure and services

210 Transport and Storage

220 Communications

230 Energy Generation and Supply

240 Banking and Financial Services

250 Business and Other Services

310 Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

320 Industry, Mining, Construction

330 Trade and Tourism

410 General Environmental Protection

420 Women

430 Other Multisector

510 General Budget Support

520 Developmental food aid/Food security assistance

530 Non-food commodity assistance

600 Action Relating to Debt

720 Emergency Response

910 Administrative Costs of Donors

920 Support to Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Government Organizations

Status: Tracks the progression of a project. Labels include: Cancelled; Completed; Pipeline: Pledge; Pipeline; Commitment Implementation; Suspended.

USD Defl 2014: The monetary amount committed by the funding agency for the project, exchanged and deflated to US 2014 dollars.

Donor Intent: Perceived intent of the finance provider. Categories covered by “donor intent” include:

• Development

• Commercial

• Representational

• Mixed (combination of two or more of the other categories)

Flow Type: Details on how finances, goods or services are transferred from the donor to recipient for a project.

Flow types include:

• Debt Forgiveness

• Debt Rescheduling

• Export Credits

• Freestanding Technical Assistance

• Grant

• Loan (excluding debt rescheduling)

• Scholarships/Training in Donor Country

• Strategic/Supplier Credit

Flow Class: Category indicating the concessionality and intent of a project, as defined by the OECD Development Assistance Committee.  TUFF datasets currently include the following categories:

• ODA-like

• OOF-like

• Vague (Official Finance)

More details on these flow categorizations can be found in AidData's TUFF Methodology, Version 1.3 document.

Line of Credit: Denotes a project or financial arrangement where the donor extended a line of credit to a recipient entity. This credit may or may not be used in its entirety by the recipient.

Start Planned: The announced start date for a project.

Start Actual: The actual date that the implementation of a project began on.

End Planned: The announced completion date for a project.

End Actual: The actual date that a project was completed on.

Source: URLs for all sources used in creating and verifying each project.