Methodology

Tracking Chinese Development Finance: An Application of AidData’s TUFF 2.0 Methodology

Date Published

Sep 29, 2021

Authors

Samantha Custer, Axel Dreher, Thai-Binh Elston, Andreas Fuchs, Siddharta Ghose, Joyce Jiahui Lin, Ammar A. Malik, Bradley C. Parks, Brooke Russell, Kyra Solomon, Austin Strange, Michael J. Tierney, Katherine Walsh, Lincoln Zaleski, and Sheng Zhang

Publisher

Citation

Custer, S., Dreher, A., Elston, T.B., Fuchs, A., Ghose, S., Lin, J., Malik, A., Parks, B.C., Russell, B.,Solomon, K., Strange, A., Tierney, M.J., Walsh, K., Zaleski, L., and Zhang, S. 2021. TrackingChinese Development Finance: An Application of AidData’s TUFF 2.0 Methodology.Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.

Announcement

China and other so-called “emerging” donors and creditors are fundamentally changing the international development finance landscape; however, many of these actors do not participate in existing global reporting systems, such as the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System (CRS) and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).

To address this challenge and help those who seek to understand the nature, distribution, and effects of development finance from emerging donors and creditors, AidData developed the Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF) in collaboration with an international network of researchers from Harvard University, Heidelberg University, the University of Göttingen, the University of Cape Town, Brigham Young University, and William and Mary.

The methodology codifies a systematic, transparent, and replicable set of procedures that facilitate the collection of information about aid and credit from official sector donors and lenders who do not publish comprehensive or detailed information about their overseas activities. It does so by synthesizing and standardizing vast amounts of unstructured, open-source, project-level information published by governments, intergovernmental organizations, companies, nongovernmental organizations, journalists, and research institutions.

The methodology was first introduced in April 2013 as a way of tracking Chinese government-financed development projects in Africa (Strange et al. 2013). It was then revised and extended to track Chinese government-financed development projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Oceania, and Eastern and Central Europe in September 2015, January 2017, and October 2017 (Muchapondwa et al. 2016; BenYishay et al. 2016; Strange et al. 2017; Bluhm et al. 2018; Dreher et al. 2018, 2019, 2021, forthcoming). These revisions are chronicled in a new book entitled Banking on Beijing: The Aims and Impacts of China’s Overseas Development Program (Dreher et al. forthcoming). Since then, the TUFF methodology has been re-engineered to support the creation of AidData’s Chinese Global Development Finance Dataset, Version 2.0, which was published in September 2021.

Samantha Custer
Policy Analysis

Samantha Custer

Director of Policy Analysis

Axel Dreher

Axel Dreher

Professor of Economics and Chair of International and Development Politics at Heidelberg University

Thai-Binh Elston
Policy Analysis

Thai-Binh Elston

Junior Program Manager

Andreas Fuchs

Andreas Fuchs

Professor of Development Economics at the University of Goettingen

Siddhartha Ghose
Policy Analysis

Siddhartha Ghose

Associate Director, Transparent Development Footprints

Joyce Lin
Policy Analysis

Joyce Lin

Program Manager

Ammar A. Malik

Ammar A. Malik

Senior Research Scientist

Bradley C. Parks

Bradley C. Parks

Executive Director

Brooke Russell
Policy Analysis

Brooke Russell

Associate Director, Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF)

Kyra Solomon
Policy Analysis

Kyra Solomon

Junior Program Manager

Austin Strange

Austin Strange

Assistant Professor, University of Hong Kong

Mike Tierney

Mike Tierney

Co-Director of the Global Research Institute and Hylton Professor of Government and International Relations at the College of William & Mary

Katherine Walsh
Policy Analysis

Katherine Walsh

Program Manager

Lincoln Zaleski
Policy Analysis

Lincoln Zaleski

Junior Program Manager

Sheng Zhang
Policy Analysis

Sheng Zhang

Junior Program Manager

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