Partnerships & Communications
Soren is AidData's Communications Associate, working to increase the lab's reach and visibility by publicizing and promoting its unique activities. He writes for and edits AidData's blog, The First Tranche, and manages its social media and web presence. He holds a BA in Government with a secondary in East Asian Studies from Harvard University.
B.A., Government, Harvard University, 2015
Urban boundaries for 200 cities added to AidData’s GeoQuery tool
Users can now access more than 60 geospatial datasets for 200 metropolitan areas across the globe through GeoQuery.
What would it cost for our cities to be sustainable by 2030?
In partnership with UN-Habitat, AidData is developing the first methodology to help cities determine the funding needed to achieve SDG 11.
GeoQuery reaches 10,000 dataset requests
GeoQuery, AidData’s flagship platform for creating customized geospatial datasets, today fulfilled its 10,000th data request.
Asking the right questions: AidData to launch third global survey of developing- country leaders
In 2020, we plan to field a new wave of our Listening to Leaders Survey to over 55,000 decision-makers in 140 countries.
Back to basics: A stronger case for bednets to fight malaria
A new study in PLOS ONE by a team including AidData, William & Mary researchers finds that a bednet campaign in the DRC led to a 41% decline in child mortality rates.
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.
The Cloudera Foundation awards AidData $1,152,000 to expand use of GeoQuery for social impact
Good news for rare birds: Development projects that don’t harm the environment
New research evaluating World Bank development projects, including those that pose the most environmental risks, finds no harm to important bird habitats.
Counting on statistics: What can data producers and donors do differently to increase use?
A new report from AidData surveys hundreds of government officials in developing countries to understand what they need to better produce and use official statistics.
AidData wins two-year Millennium Challenge Corporation award
The MCC awards AidData $400,000 to develop new methods using high-resolution satellite data to more accurately and frequently monitor the impacts of land reforms on poverty and land use.
Chinese infrastructure investments reduce inequalities in developing countries
A new AidData working paper analyzes Chinese infrastructure's impacts using the most comprehensive dataset of Chinese development project locations ever assembled.
A volley of words—and new data—on China’s diplomatic reach
A recent report by AidData informed and incited discussion of China’s growing public diplomacy activities in East Asia and Pacific.
Linking the SDGs with national development planning for better coordination
AidData is piloting a new methodology in Rwanda to connect financing for and progress on the SDGs with national development.
Enhancing statistics for the SDGs: A new project to increase use and impact of official statistics
AidData is polling producers of national statistics as part of a new collaboration with Open Data Watch and PARIS21.
Minding the gap in data on migrant, refugee and trafficked children
Understanding what data is available about children on the move will help decision-makers better direct resources to them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chinese-funded infrastructure in endangered forests: What is the data telling us?
The picture becomes clearer when breaking down the effects within each country.
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.
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.
Using machine learning to combat environmental degradation 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.
Three insights into what data users demand: Are open data advocates listening?
In early 2016, the AidData Center for Development Policy interviewed close to 200 policymakers and practitioners in three countries about their demand for data in the sectors of education, health and agriculture. Here's what we heard.
Context matters in foreign aid’s effect on violence
Does foreign aid to conflict-prone countries make them more stable, and decrease the frequency and intensity of conflict? Research on the complicated nexus between aid and conflict has produced conflicting results, with no consensus on foreign aid’s true effects.
Aid to refugee camps brings help — and harm
Humanitarian aid has become an increasingly crucial component of the international community’s response to violent conflict. In some ways, it might be making things worse.
Debt, deals, and dictators: How Africa’s autocrats adapt to aid requirements
Do Western donors' aid recipient requirements really constraint autocrats' repressive abilities?
Aid and the intensity of violence: Can good intentions backfire?
Do foreign aid commitments to countries experiencing ongoing violent conflict affect the intensity of violence in different regions? One theory says "yes."
The changing tactics of aid when partisanship runs high
The U.S. distributes almost twice as much foreign aid as any other nation; in 2015 alone the U.S. spent about $27.4 billion on foreign assistance. What happens when an uncooperative Congress makes it difficult for the executive branch to allocate bilateral aid?
Suits on the ground: Does "ground game" buy influence?
Does “ground game” — the strength of a development partner’s local presence and direct engagement with recipient government officials — affect how in-country decision makers assess the performance of development partners?
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.
Small but mighty: Denmark ranks highly as a development partner, according to report
Denmark is one of only six countries in the world to achieve the UN's development assistance target, though this is only part of the equation for development success. How do Denmark’s development efforts measure up from the perspective of its partner countries?
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.