Program Area: TDF

Transparent Development Footprints

Tracking underreported financial flows

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

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Blog Posts

September 2018

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.

The India-Pakistan border in 2015, as viewed from the International Space Station. Photo by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center, in the public domain.
August 2018

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.

Sports Ministers from South Korea, China and Japan meet in 2016 in Pyeongchang.
June 2018

Chinese public diplomacy in East Asia and the Pacific: Is it working?

A new report from AidData chronicles the nature and impact of China’s diplomatic programs.

Culture ministers representing China (left) and Korea (right) in discussion at the 8th Korea-China-Japan Culture Minister’s Meeting in 2016 in Korea. Photo by Jeon Han/Republic of Korea via Flickr, licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0).
April 2018

Russia’s foreign aid re-emerges

Little is known about Russia’s foreign aid. We examine the evidence to see what makes Moscow's spending different.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (center) and Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov (left) at an informal meeting of the heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States in December 2017. Kyrgyzstan is the #1 recipient of Russian foreign aid. Photo by the Office of the President of Russia, licensed under (CC by 4.0).


Working Paper

Connective Financing: Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries

Richard Bluhm, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin Strange, Michael Tierney


Working Paper

China in Africa: Competition for Traditional Development Finance Institutions?

Chris Humphrey, Katharina Michaelowa


Working Paper

The Effects of Chinese Aid on State Legitimacy in Africa: Cross-National and Sub-National Evidence from Surveys, Survey Experiments, and Behavioral Games

Robert A. Blair, Philip Roessler


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

The Effects of Trade, Aid, and Investment on China's Image in Developing Countries

Vera Z. Eichenauer, Andreas Fuchs, Lutz Brückner


Working Paper

Aid Curse with Chinese Characteristics? Chinese Development Flows and Economic Reforms

Samuel Brazys, Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati