Development Loop is a simple, easy-to-use, app that tells the real story of foreign assistance by enabling users to add and edit their own project information at a sub-national level, including comments, pictures, and stories, and to view and share this information with others in both online and offline environments. Users can view their own projects alongside those of other organizations or important indicators, such as poverty rates or maternal mortality. It can also be linked to beneficiary feedback. This prototype includes current development projects from the World Bank and the African Development Bank, several World Development Indicators, and, perhaps uniquely, local citizen feedback collected by the non-profit GlobalGiving. Development Loop uses these layers to create feedback loops that enable the social monitoring of development projects/programs and facilitate mutual accountability.
To illustrate the app further, here is a simple scenario for answering questions about what donors are doing, and where, using Development Loop. First, when the app is opened, users see a global view, displaying the number of ongoing aid projects in each country.
Activating World Bank and AfDB projects, as well as local surveys captured by GlobalGiving and a sub-national poverty map, provides users with a quick overview of what is happening within a country. In the case of Kenya, we see a concentration of project activities in the Mombasa-Nairobi-Kisumu corridor, where poverty appears to be less acute.
Zooming in on Nairobi and Kibera and activating an OpenStreetMap allows us to begin to see the distribution of local projects.
A closer zoom allows us to identify individual surveys and projects (which may be related to each other), as well as view local health and education facilities. This detailed mapping and advanced visualization can begin to close the feedback loop between donors and beneficiaries, moving from measuring project outputs to demonstrating local results.