The AidData Center for Development Policy will create geospatial data and tools that enable the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the broader global development community to more effectively target, coordinate, deliver, and evaluate aid.
AidData's Alena Stern (W&M '12) introduces the AidData Center for Development Policy at USAID's Higher Education Solutions Network launch event:
The Center will focus on:
Geocoding aid projects—that is, pinpointing the latitude and longitude coordinates of donor-funded activities in developing countries—and creating powerful geospatial tools and technologies that help USAID monitor the distribution and impact of its overseas projects and programs;
Building an AidData Research Consortium that consists of geographers, economists, epidemiologists, political scientists, computer scientists, and statisticians who are committed to helping USAID and other donor agencies make evidence-based policy and resource allocation decisions;
Training governments in 15 partner countries to more effectively manage, monitor, and evaluate aid;
Equipping students, faculty, and civil society organizations in the developing world to map and monitor the distribution and impact of aid in their own cities, provinces, towns, and villages;
Creating opportunities and incentives for entrepreneurs, development practitioners, scientists, and non-profits to innovate with geocoded aid information—for example, by using mobile phones to help the intended beneficiaries of aid locate projects in their own communities and crowdsource real-time feedback on project performance; and
Developing open source software and web-based tools that allow scientists, researchers, journalists, civil society organizations, and students to visualize, overlay, correlate, and analyze diverse data sources and uncover difficult-to-observe relationships
Headquartered in Williamsburg, Virginia at the College of William and Mary, the AidData Center for Development Policy will bring scholars, policymakers, and development practitioners together to solve vexing global development problems with geospatial data and tools.