AidData Research Releases

research datasets

In addition to providing a searchable database of more than 1 million aid activities from the 1940s to present, AidData has assembled a set of datasets specifically for researchers. Three of these datasets are derived from AidData's core database: a 'Research Release' of all project-level records as of February 2013, a dataset of aggregate financial transfers between donors and recipients (generated from the February 2012 Research Release), and a dataset of aggregate financial transfers between individual financing agencies and recipients (generated from the February 2012 Research Release).

Forthcoming Data

NEW datasets are forthcoming in 2016! Please visit the Donor Datasets page for a listing of non-DAC datasets (e.g. China)  and other donor-specific datasets (e.g. USAID). These pages will be updated throughout the year.


Quick Stats

Use Quick Stats to search for information about a donor, country, sector and more.

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AidData Research Release 2.1

Source: AidData (see release notes)
Contents: AidData's Research Release 2.1 is a snapshot of the AidData's entire project-level database from  February 2012. This database includes over 1 million aid activities funded by more than 80 donors from the 1940s to present. AidData Research Releases are particularly useful for researchers because they are static versions of the data that allow for replication and comparison. AidData’s goal is to publish updated research releases on an annual basis (or more frequently if appropriate). For detailed information about this data set, see the AidData User’s Guide.


*includes AidData ID, donor, recipient, year, commitment (USD2009) and purpose code.

Official Citation: Tierney, Michael J., Daniel L. Nielson, Darren G. Hawkins, J. Timmons Roberts, Michael G. Findley, Ryan M. Powers, Bradley Parks, Sven E. Wilson, and Robert L. Hicks. 2011. More Dollars than Sense: Refining Our Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData. World Development 39 (11): 1891-1906.


PLAID Environmental Aid and Impact Codes dataset

PLAID 1.9 was a precursor dataset to the modern AidData research releases and AidData web portal. Available here is the PLAID 1.9 dataset with environment codes used in Greening Aid? Researchers should note:

  • Donor names have been harmonized, but may not match current AidData donor names

  • Recipient names not harmonized and some core contributions to multilateral institutions are included, with the  multilateral institution listed as recipient

  • Sector code coverage is not as extensive as AidData

  • Not all projects have unique AidData IDs

  • "Constant USD" is USD-2000, unlike AidData 3.0's annually updated constant values

See the Cover Sheet (xlsx, 12KB) for more information and details on the Environmental Impact Code field and possible values. Researchers can access the Environmental Impact Codes either at the project-level or as aggregate flows. These data are available here: 

  • Project-Level:

    • Full form (CSV , SQL) (136 cols x 962005 obs)

    • Short form (includes ID, donor, recipient, year, commitment, purpose, env_code) (CSV) (7 cols x 962005 obs)

  • Aggregate:

    • By donor, recipient, year and environment code (CSV) (156611 obs)

    • By donor, recipient, year, purpose and environment code (CSV) (498723 rows)