Transparent Development Footprints

Program Overview

Tracking underreported financial flows

As officially-reported Western aid becomes a smaller fraction of the total financing for sustainable development, AidData is pioneering new methods to track the large and growing number of development investments made by non-Western governments like China and Qatar, non-state actors like companies and private philanthropies, and low- and middle-income countries themselves.

AidData uses unique data and methods to answer a range of questions about these less understood global development actors:

  • What are their investment priorities?
  • How closely do their investments align with national development priorities and global goals?
  • In which countries and sectors are they most and least influential?
  • What are the intended and unintended effects of their investments?

Featured China Research

Featured Publications

Policy Report

Silk Road Diplomacy: Deconstructing Beijing's toolkit to influence South and Central Asia

Samantha Custer, Tanya Sethi, Jonathan A. Solis, Joyce Jiahui Lin, Siddhartha Ghose, Anubhav Gupta, Rodney Knight, Austin Baehr


Policy Report

Influencing the Narrative: How the Chinese government mobilizes students and media to burnish its image

Samantha Custer, Mihir Prakash, Jonathan A. Solis, Rodney Knight, Joyce Jiahui Lin


Policy Report

Ties That Bind: Quantifying China's public diplomacy and its "good neighbor" effect

Samantha Custer, Brooke Russell, Matthew DiLorenzo, Mengfan Cheng, Siddhartha Ghose, Jacob Sims, Jennifer Turner, Harsh Desai


Working Paper

China and the World Bank: How Contrasting Development Approaches Affect the Stability of African States

Kai Gehring, Lennart Kaplan, Melvin H. L. Wong


Journal Article

African leaders and the geography of China's foreign assistance

Journal of Development Economics

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Roland Hodler, Bradley C. Parks, Paul A. Raschky, Michael J. Tierney


Impact Evaluation

Parceling out prosperity? An impact evaluation of natural resource sector investments in Liberia

Brad Parks, Jonas Bunte, Harsh Desai, Kanio Gbala, and Daniel Miller Runfola


Program Team

For technical or research inquires, contact:

Policy Analysis

Samantha Custer

Director of Policy Analysis

Policy Analysis

Rodney Knight

Deputy Director of Research

Policy Analysis

Siddhartha Ghose

Associate Director, Transparent Development Footprints

Policy Analysis

Brooke Russell

Senior Program and Technology Manager

Policy Analysis

Joyce Lin

Program Manager

Policy Analysis

Amber Hutchinson

Junior Data Analyst

Policy Analysis

Austin Baehr

Program Manager

Policy Analysis

Brook Lautenslager

Software Lead

Policy Analysis

Emily Dumont

Program Manager

Policy Analysis

Jonathan A. Solis

Research Analyst

Gates Foundation
MacArthur Foundation
Ministry of Education of Singapore
William & Mary

Alex Wooley

Director of Partnerships and Communications