Recent Posts

December 2015

AidData and the U.S. Global Development Lab: What to look for in Y4

What to expect during the fourth year of AidData and the U.S. Global Development Lab's partnership.

December 2015

AidData and the U.S. Global Development Lab: A look back at Y3

A look back at the third year of the partnership between AidData and the U.S. Global Development Lab.

December 2015

Does information about foreign aid change how people view their own government?

There are countervailing arguments in development literature regarding foreign aid's effect on citizens' perception of their government. One team attempts to straighten things out.

November 2015

Does foreign aid undermine political institutions?

Many scholars, including the recent Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton, would tend to agree. Others? Not so much.

November 2015

AidData’s promise to users of its data products

Today marks an important milestone for AidData: we’re going public with our Data Management Plan (DMP).

November 2015

Listening to our readers: Improvements to AidData’s Value for Money Index

The Value for Money index is the first attempt to combine data on the policy influence of bilateral and multilateral development partners, as perceived by participants in the 2014 Reform Efforts Survey, with international development finance data from AidData.

October 2015

Press release: Developing world leaders speak out on aid donors

The "Listening to Leaders" report draws upon the frank views of policymakers and practitioners from 126 low- and middle-income countries, and attracted the participation of high-level officials across the public, private and civil society sectors.

October 2015

Measuring the ‘health’ of AidData project records: Quality scores for development finance data based on open sources

In response to user requests for simple and intuitive summary metrics of data quality at the project-level, the AidData team has developed a scoring system that we call our “Health of Record” methodology.

October 2015

What’s new in AidData’s latest Chinese development finance dataset?

Last week, we released our 1.2 dataset and TUFF methodology updates. So, what are the five most important changes to come with these updates?

October 2015

Chinese “aid” to Africa: Be careful comparing apples and dragon fruits

Western pundits have a narrative about China’s activities in Africa. But is this narrative true?

September 2015

No more flying blind: Join the data revolution for sustainable development

Attention is quickly turning from the content of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to how these goals will be implemented. Data will be critical to track resources, monitor progress, and create accountability for results.

September 2015

"The West can keep their 'aid'": Uganda looks East for infrastructure

Uganda is currently investing in huge infrastructure projects in order to further enable industrial and economic development. The country is looking to China to supply more than $10 billion in funding for the construction of many of these projects.

August 2015

Introducing the next generation of development innovators: AidData's student Shark Tank makes a splash

Inspired by a similar event held in February of 2015 in which AidData’s staff pitched innovative development ideas, teams of students developed research proposals that leverage sub-national spatial data to address relevant policy and research questions over the course of 8 weeks.

August 2015

Nutrition aid: Do we have the full picture?

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests some nutrition interventions have made a significant impact.

July 2015

Take our Uganda geocoded data for a test drive and make your own map

This week, we invite you to join us for a step-by-step walkthrough of some basic mapping and visualization techniques that are possible with the Level 1A data for Uganda.

July 2015

Asking the right questions: AidData's Survey Practice

The "Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change" report analyzes the influence of over 100 external assessments according to over 6,750 survey participants, and it makes some interesting observations about factors that make assessments more and less influential.

July 2015

Reducing extreme poverty in the post-MDG era: Lessons from four emerging economies

The last 15 years has shown that trends in growth, poverty reduction, and the link between the two have varied widely among countries. Four key lessons collectively point to the need to look beyond the usual metrics and beyond growth entirely.

July 2015

Changing tides: Tracking aid in the Caribbean

Over the past several decades, The Caribbean and its countries' needs and priorities have shifted. They have now expanded beyond their traditional relationships in the development world and started to form ties with non-traditional donors.

July 2015

Making geocoded data more accessible: Introducing Level 1A

AidData is excited to announce several improvements to our upcoming geocoded datasets that will lower barriers to entry for end users who want to see who is funding what and where they are siting their investments.

July 2015

The politics of aid allocation: New evidence from Zambia

As the ongoing debate continues over whether financial assistance is an effective way to improve development outcomes, the politicization of aid is one factor that some scholars suggest makes it harder for aid to reach the places where there is the most need or opportunity.

July 2015

If you don't ask, you don't get

Just asking directly is the best strategy for countries wanting to get better data and information about Chinese aid.

July 2015

AidData funds next generation of development research using geospatial data

In this post we’re excited to tell you more about 9 awardees that will begin work this summer, and provide a preview of how this cohort of research projects will advance our mission to make development finance data more accessible and actionable.

July 2015

Achieving a “new normal”: Mapping the future of the AidData and U.S. Global Development Lab partnership

The “geospatial revolution” comes at a critical time as the global development community reflects on the post-2015 development agenda to end extreme poverty.

July 2015

Independence Day: Aid and conflict in South Sudan

The way that an influx of funding and personnel to an area of extreme, persistent conflict affects the conflict itself garners academic attention.

June 2015

AidData/USAID GDL Series 3: Strengthening the “demand side” of data

AidData has collaborated with a network of more than 80 partners -- governments, multilateral institutions, non-profits, and the private sector, including engagements with over 25 USAID Missions and operating units -- to scale the “technology” of geospatial data and analysis.

June 2015

AidData/USAID GDL Series 2: Making meaning out of data

Today, we briefly describe some of the research and technical activities that support our partners to make meaning out of data.

June 2015

Working towards a “new normal”: AidData and the U.S. Global Development Lab’s efforts to accelerate uptake of geospatial data and analysis

AidData has been working in close partnership with USAID’s Global Development Lab to create a “new normal” where policymakers and practitioners ask themselves “why would we not use data and analytics to maximize the impact of every development dollar we spend?”

June 2015

“Why should we wait?”: Mapping for the next disaster

Maps are integral to humanitarian relief efforts, especially in remote, disaster-prone countries.

June 2015

Who do developing world leaders listen to and why? New evidence from the 2014 Reform Efforts Survey

Do leaders pay more attention to external assessments that benchmark their performance against other countries, or to assessments that are specifically focused on their own country? The answer to this question is nuanced.

June 2015

Going "Deeper Than Data" with AidData

This summer, AidData is premiering a six-episode podcast series to take you past the maps and dashboards on our website to the human stories at the heart of our research.

June 2015

AidData’s Summer Fellows put data to work for development

The 2015 Summer Fellows’ cohort hail from 7 US universities and are hosted by partner organizations in Uganda, the Philippines, Peru and Ghana.

June 2015

The marketplace for ideas: Money, power, and simplicity

Money and power still matter, but simplicity does too. If you are trying to get the attention of a developing country government, tell them clearly what the problem is and what they can do to fix it.

June 2015

“First data responders?”: Lessons learned from Nepal

In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, hyper-local, crowdsourced data functioned as signposts for both national and international organizations as they sought to provide timely relief to those areas in greatest need of assistance.

May 2015

Open Data: A journey of discovery in Nepal

This short documentary follows the journey of journalist Gyanu Sharma in Nepal, who understands that having access to data can help him create a better future for his son.

May 2015

Saudi aid to Yemen: Stability over development?

A lack of consistent aid reporting practices from donors like Saudi Arabia has limited the ability of international observers to monitor how much of this assistance Yemen has actually received or what was funded under blanket pledges.

April 2015

New "Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change" report shows how external sources of analysis and advice shape reform in low and middle income countries

The Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change report examines the influence of over 100 external assessments of government performance on the policymaking process in low and middle income countries.

April 2015

Mashing up aid and budget data: opportunities, challenges and pathways forward

The success of the transparency initiatives is contingent upon the degree of the compatibility and interoperability of their data.

March 2015

Money, Ideas & Reform: What does it take to influence lasting change?

With a new survey practice, AidData hopes to improve the ability of development partners to evaluate their influence and impact, but also to encourage greater attentiveness and responsiveness to the experiences and priorities of in-country decision-makers and stakeholders.

March 2015

Poverty in Pakistan: Numerous efforts, many numbers, not enough results

Although great strides have been made, millions of Pakistanis remain vulnerable to falling into absolute poverty.

February 2015

Launching a Geospatial Data Revolution

There are three major challenges for the development community in launching a Geospatial Data Revolution.

February 2015

Liberating 35 Years of USAID Experience

To “liberate” DEC information, AidData is piloting a new dataset of machine-readable data to provide new levels of access for researchers, data scientists, and practitioners to mine, analyze, and create “new” knowledge from old lessons.

February 2015

Trust Funds: DAC Donors Contribute, Most Non-DAC Donors Don’t

Given the dissatisfaction of certain non-DAC donors about their relatively low voting share on the Bank’s Board, one might think that trust funds would be an attractive instrument to exert greater influence or work together with other like-minded non-DAC donors.

February 2015

Staging a Geospatial Data Revolution

Before the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are finalized, it’s critical to take stock of what we have – and have not – accomplished before we double down on the next fifteen years.

February 2015

A 5 Minute Dive Into Our New Geocoded World Bank Data

This dataset offers an exciting opportunity for researchers and policymakers to better understand the impact and allocation of World Bank projects.

January 2015

New Minerva Research Explores the Relationship Between Aid and Conflict

The Minerva Initiative will allow academic researchers to examine whether development aid makes countries more or less resistant to violent conflict within their own borders.

January 2015

Leveraging Aid for Trade Capacity in Uganda

A recent study funded by the Economic Policy Research Center in Kampala, Uganda looks at how aid-for-trade disbursements align with Uganda’s national development priorities and the impact of trade-related aid on the country’s capacity to trade.

January 2015

Localizing the Post-2015 Agenda: How Responsive Are Donors to Timor Leste’s Education Needs?

The need for subnational development data that is actionable and open has never been more apparent. In this post we drill down into why this matters in one particular example: education in Timor Leste.

January 2015

Looking Back Anew: AidData’s #ChinainAfrica November Launch Event

The dashboard launched at the event attempts to create a space for discussion about China’s role in Africa, opening up a broader conversation where anyone can provide comments and contribute multimedia content on the projects of interest to them.

January 2015

Aid Information Matters for U.S. Citizens, Too – Transparency Efforts and Domestic Audiences

There is a key element in the development assistance process that sometimes gets overlooked: the accountability donors have to their own governments and citizens.

Chinese aid to Africa looks a lot like Western aid to Africa, new research finds

In "Apples and Dragon Fruits," AidData researchers from the College of William & Mary, Heidelberg University, and Harvard University refute popular misconceptions and clarify common misunderstandings about what the Chinese are up to in Africa.

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