Takaaki Masaki

Senior Research Analyst

Taka Masaki worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Data Analyst, and Senior Research Analyst at AidData from 2015 to 2017.


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Taka worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Data Analyst at AidData from 2015-2017, and a Senior Research Analyst until the end of 2017. His primary role was to advise and oversee efforts to clean, code, and run policy analyses utilizing complex datasets generated from surveys, crowdsourcing, web scraping, and other methods. He previously worked as a consultant for UNU-WIDER. Taka holds a PhD in Government from Cornell University, an MA in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, and a BA in Liberal Arts from Soka University of America.

Dr. Takaaki Masaki was a Senior Research Analyst at AidData in 2017, and a Postdoctoral Fellow and Data Analyst at AidData from 2015-2017. Taka’s research focuses on the political economy of development in sub-Saharan Africa. At AidData, he conducts policy analysis of quantitative data from in-country decision-makers to assess donor impact and influence. Taka’s doctoral dissertation focused on three areas: the relationship between coups and aid allocation, the domestic factors that influence the distribution of development finance within an aid-recipient country, and how this aid allocation impacts state institutions in recipient countries. Taka is fluent in utilizing complex datasets generated from various sources including surveys, crowdsourcing, and web scraping.

Taka received an honorarium for 2015-2016 from the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research to research fiscal transfers, local tax revenue, and public service provisions in Tanzania. In May 2015, Taka earned his PhD in Political Science from Cornell University, with a major in Comparative Politics and a minor in Political Methodology. While at Cornell, Taka taught classes in comparative politics, statistics, regression analysis, Southeast Asian politics, and authoritarianism.

Website and CV


Subnational Aid Analysis, Developing Country Perceptions, Political Economy of Development, Sub-Saharan Africa