New climate data and tools featured on CCAPS aid dashboard

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The Strauss Center's Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program and AidData have been working together for a while on mapping and visualizing aid to Africa. Now, an interactive aid dashboardmakes the information easier to browse and interpret. The dashboard includes a map (using Esri’s ArcGIS software) as well as graphing tools that allow users to explore trends in aid allocation by donor, sector, and demographics across Africa. 

Among other information, the dashboard features the first-ever dataset tracking all climate aid activities in a single country. In a pilot study, CCAPS researchers applied their new "climate coding" methodology to all official development aid projects in Malawi's Aid Management Platform assessing each project activity for its relevance to climate change adaptation. The resulting database reveals how much of Malawi's current aid portfolio represents funding allocated specifically for climate-oriented development. It also reveals how much of Malawi's aid is not explicitly climate-related, comprised of development projects that could have varied degrees of positive or negative impacts on climate change adaptation. This new Malawi Climate-coded and Geocoded Aid Dataset can be searched and downloaded online or mapped on the aid dashboard.
 
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"Our goal is to generate more timely, detailed, and useful information on climate finance to Africa to better understand where resources are being effectively mobilized to address the continent's vulnerability to climate change," said Dr. Catherine Weaver, Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a lead researcher on the CCAPS program.

CCAPS researchers "climate coded" over 700 projects in Malawi and found that climate aid, narrowly defined, makes up just 1-2% of aid to Malawi. Norway, the World Bank, USAID, and the European Union are among the donors most involved in adaptation aid in Malawi. Japan and Ireland have several adaptation-related projects, yet their financial contributions are much smaller.

The new dataset opens the door for detailed comparative analysis of climate change adaptation programs and their effectiveness in targeting specific climate risks within a country. Through a collaboration between CCAPS, AidData, and the Government of Malawi, the data were also geocoded, allowing analysts to assess the aid allocation visually as well.

In addition, the aid dashboard includes African Development Bank projects continent-wide geocoded by AidData, and World Bank projects continent-wide geocoded through the World Bank-AidData Mapping for Results initiative.

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"The CCAPS aid dashboard allows analysts to explore aid spending as big picture trends or local project information," said CCAPS program manager Ashley Moran. "Our aim is to provide these new data in a way that is as useful as possible to policymakers and researchers needing to ask very focused questions about aid investments and impacts."

The CCAPS research team plans to expand the climate-coding effort continent-wide for several large donors over the next year. The data will be updated on the CCAPS aid dashboard as they become available. 

Tags: data visualizationsClimate Changegeo-referencingenvironment