AidData is an initiative that aims to (a) increase the impact of development assistance by making aid information more transparent and accessible to a wide range of stakeholders, and (b) improve the quality of research on aid allocation and aid effectiveness. For more information on AidData and its mission, visit our About Us page.
AidData is a partnership between Brigham Young University, the College of William and Mary, and the non-profit development organization, Development Gateway. The AidData program is run by an interdisciplinary team comprised of staff from all three institutions, and benefits from the advice and support of a network of experts at partner institutions. Learn more about our team.
AidData was formed in 2009 through the merger of two existing programs: Project-Level Aid (PLAID) and Accessible Information on Development Activities (AiDA). PLAID, begun in 2003, was a joint effort between the College of William and Mary and Brigham Young University. It aimed to create a database of development finance activities with granular activity and purpose coding and as much descriptive detail as possible at the project level, for use in the research community. AiDA was established in 2001 by Development Gateway to serve as a current, timely registry of aid activities to improve aid coordination and effectiveness.
There are several ways to access data in AidData, depending on what you are looking for. To access the main searchable database, which is a repository for over one million development finance activity records, use our interactive search. Conducting research using AidData? Static snapshots of the searchable data for use in research are available for download through our Research Releases. AidData also posts replication datasets for papers produced by AidData-affiliated scholars. Finally, fresh, unvetted and different types of data can be found in AidData Raw, including geocoded data.
AidData provides access to over 96 donor agencies and multilateral organizations from 1949 to the present, depending on the source. Detailed information on the donors, recipients, years and coverage is available on the Sources and Coverage page as well as in our User’s Guide.
The information available through the AidData search as well as the Research Releases comes from a number of sources, including the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System, annual reports and project documents published by donors, web-accessible databases and project documents, spreadsheets and data exports obtained directly from donor agencies.
In general, the OECD CRS is used for bilateral donors on the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), while annual reports and, project documents and other data sources are used for non-DAC donors, emerging development partners and multilateral development agencies. More information on data sources is available on the Sources and Coverage page, or in our User’s Guide.
While AidData has taken significant care to ensure that this dataset is as error-free as possible, data vetting is an ongoing process. With over a million rows in the dataset, there are certainly errors in AidData 2.0. Please report any errors – large or small – to email@example.com with “[AidData 2.0 ERROR]” in the subject line.
Some OECD CRS disbursement records are not included in AidData’s development activity database. Project records are gathered by diverse methods from many sources, which makes associating records that may refer to the same project different for every source.
For example, the OECD CRS, one of AidData’s largest sources, is a transaction-level database. In the particular case of CRS information, there are many disbursement records that cannot be reliably linked to commitment records for the same project.
AidData is working with the OECD to investigate ways of linking commitment and disbursement records from this source. But at present, records that only include disbursements are excluded from the AidData dataset. This means that disbursement sums for OECD members do not reflect the values reported by the donor. For complete information on OECD CRS disbursements, please visit the CRS website. Users should note that commitment records are imported in their entirety. Should you have questions or comments about AidData’s handling of these records, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AidData’s sector coding is still underway. AidData researchers have coded projects for non-DAC donors and development partners, but activity codes have not yet been assigned to projects from the OECD Creditor Reporting System. This project is underway, but for the meantime, researchers should use purpose codes and keyword searches to find and group project records.
If you’re having trouble downloading data from AidData.org, please contact us at email@example.com. One of the AidData team members will contact you as soon as possible to help you.