Partnerships & Communications
John Custer is AidData's Communications Manager. He stewards AidData's website, blog, newsletter, and social media channels, responds to media inquiries, and provides design support to AidData's publications.
B.S., International Business, Grove City College, 2000
John brings 15 years of professional and international experience as AidData's Communications Manager. Prior to joining AidData, John co-founded an online coffee company and worked as the Government Relations Director for an NGO in Southeast Asia running multilingual education programs. John holds a BS in International Business from Grove City College.
Evaluating irrigation projects when survey data sources run dry
A USAID water management program in Afghanistan greened fields in ways that can be seen from space.
In fragile states, increasing citizen trust in democracy
AidData is surveying thousands of households in Niger to evaluate a USAID project that aims to strengthen government accountability.
GeoSIMEX: A better method for handling geospatial imprecision
Analysts need to find ways to live with the reality of noisy and imprecise geospatial data. GeoSIMEX may be able to help.
AidData/William & Mary awarded two-year grant to study data on refugee, migrant and trafficked children
The two-year, nearly $500,000 grant funds research to improve the data needed for assistance programs seeking to help children on the move.
Filling the missing middle: A method for impact evaluators on a budget
Faster and cheaper than a randomized control trial but more rigorous than a performance evaluation, Geospatial Impact Evaluations (GIEs) fill the “missing middle” for organizational learning.
Six deep dives into China’s checkbook diplomacy
AidData’s release of the most comprehensive dataset yet on Beijing’s spending abroad prompted a flurry of media coverage and policy analysis. See our top five picks for articles and interviews that provide new insight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Groundbreaking study on how developing world leaders view German aid
The study is the first to analyze Germany’s official development assistance activities based on the experiences, observations, and opinions of decision makers in the countries that German aid agencies seek to help.
Viewing poverty more clearly — from space
Ground-breaking research by Stanford University scientists has combined satellite imagery taken from space and machine learning to bring better measurements of poverty and economic development within reach.