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Geospatial Data Framework

Recent Posts

April 2018

Russia’s foreign aid re-emerges

Little is known about Russia’s foreign aid. We examine the evidence to see what makes Moscow's spending different.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (center) and Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov (left) at an informal meeting of the heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States in December 2017. Kyrgyzstan is the #1 recipient of Russian foreign aid. Photo by the Office of the President of Russia, licensed under (CC by 4.0).
September 2017

Building a geospatial revolution

Geocoding the globe! In our five years of partnership with USAID, we located over 130,000 development activities and $750 billion in assistance.

AidData's Pat Austria (College of William and Mary Class of '13) speaks at the U.S. Global Development Lab Launch April 3, 2014. Photo by David Trichler for AidData, all rights reserved.
September 2017

Supporting evaluation at USAID through a global research network

Lowering the barriers for researchers to collaborate directly with those who set development policy means innovations reach the field sooner.

AidData Geospatial Assistant Qiao Li leads an Intro to ArcGIS training session during the first AidData Research Consortium (ARC) convening in January 2014.
August 2017

Expanding USAID's capacity for data-driven decisions

AidData Summer Fellows afford USAID Missions the opportunity to establish a basis for sustained geospatial work to enhance their development programs.

This visualization of Rwanda, constructed by AidData Fellow Joshua Okafor, illustrates the location of public and faith-based health centers and their proximity to paved roads, overlaid by a heatmap of contraceptive use. As the gradient moves from yellow to blue, levels of contraceptive use increase.
August 2017

Spreading geocoded aid information through the AidData Summer Fellows

Student fellows funded by USAID have spread geospatial data and analysis to development organizations that can best use it to improve their communities.

AidData Summer Fellow Amy Leung gives a training on OpenStreetMap at ANSA-EAP. Photo by AidData, all rights reserved.
August 2017

Making development data fit for purpose in Senegal

By calling attention to barriers to the use of development data and making actionable recommendations, an AidData report helped renew investment in Senegal's aid management platform.

Containers stacked high at Dakar, Senegal’s capital city and a major port.
June 2017

AidData-Afrobarometer partnership produces geocoded public-attitude survey data for 37 African countries

The new dataset represents the most precise and consistent geocoding of Afrobarometer's surveys to date.

Map displaying the number of locations geocoded per country for 37 countries in Africa (Afrobarometer Rounds 1-6). Source: AidData.
June 2017

From Williamsburg to the world: AidData Summer Fellows launch their journey

Announcing the Summer Fellows Class of 2017, and a new gift to support international experiential learning and research.

Bon voyage and congratulations to the 2017 AidData Summer Fellows! Earlier this month the Fellows scattered out to NGOs across the globe.
February 2017

What are development corridor strategies, and do they work?

Liberia made foreign direct investment (FDI) the centerpiece of its development strategy. We examine how these natural resource concessions affected local economic growth.

Sunrise in Beira, Mozambique in 2011. Photo by Andrew Moore, licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0).
February 2017

Chinese-funded infrastructure in endangered forests: What is the data telling us?

The picture becomes clearer when breaking down the effects within each country.

The first Chinese-backed railway, Tazara Rail (pictured above), was funded in the 1970s. Now China has agreed to help Tanzania build a new 2,561km railway worth USD 7 billion that will run between the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam and the Great Lakes states of Rwanda and Burundi.
January 2017

Using machine learning to combat environmental degredation on a global scale

Leveraging machine learning algorithms to sift through terabytes of high-resolution satellite data, a new report by AidData and the Global Environment Facility has identified the factors that contribute to land degradation on a global scale.

A bird's eye view of the stark contrast between the forest and agricultural landscapes near Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Photo by Kate Evans for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.
December 2016

Rating the 2016 project performance disclosure practices of 50 donors

Despite the fact that most funders of overseas development projects are now signatories to major transparency initiatives like IATI and the Open Government Partnership, only two donors systematically publish standardized project performance ratings.

A heat map displaying IEG project performance ratings for all sub-nationally geo-referenced IDA and IBRD projects approved between 2001 and 2011.
October 2016

Aid to refugee camps brings help — and harm

Humanitarian aid has become an increasingly crucial component of the international community’s response to violent conflict. In some ways, it might be making things worse.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at Zam Zam camp outside El Fasher, Sudan in May 2008.
October 2016

Aid and the intensity of violence: Can good intentions backfire?

Do foreign aid commitments to countries experiencing ongoing violent conflict affect the intensity of violence in different regions? One theory says "yes."

Soldiers of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army being redeployed in 2008 to form a new battalion with the Sudan Armed Forces in Manyang, Sudan.
October 2016

Untangling the complex relationship between aid and conflict with subnational data

Outside actors frequently try to address the causes and consequences of civil conflict by offering aid to “one side” or to innocents caught in the middle. However, there are still some unanswered fudamental questions regarding aid's real effect on conflict.

This map of RGA departments and municipalities within Colombia was generated using GADM administrative boundaries.
September 2016

AidData publishes geocoded dataset on Chinese financing in ecological hotspots

The dataset captures $161 billion in financial commitments between 2000 and 2014 and extends the geographical coverage of AidData’s existing database of Chinese development projects in Africa to parts of Asia and Latin America.

This map draws on Chinese infrastructure project location data from AidData and forest cover loss data from Hansen et al. (2013).
September 2016

Four open data speed bumps on the road to ending hunger

Without the right information at their fingertips, development decision-makers are flying blind, relying on intuition rather than evidence in their efforts to zero out hunger by 2030.

2013 AidData Summer Fellow Madeline Clark stationed with CEAPRED in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she trained staff to integrate geocoded data into their work on sustainable livelihoods and food security.
April 2016

Evaluating evidence from a USAID governance project in Ghana

Local politicians and bureaucrats in low- and middle-income countries play a crucial role in the distribution of aid dollars, acting as gatekeepers in determining which constituents receive aid, and to what degree that assistance is effective. Let's look at Ghana as an example.

Women from Ghana dance at an event to raise community awareness about healthy behaviors.
March 2016

“Beyond Africa”: A glimpse into AidData’s forthcoming dataset on Chinese financing in ecological hotspots

The forthcoming dataset captures more than 1100 Chinese projects from 2000 to 2014 in 19 countries, totaling $95 billion in total official financing.

Media reports comprise ~55% of the total resources for all projects, whereas government sources consist of 20% of the total resource distribution.
July 2015

Take our Uganda geocoded data for a test drive and make your own map

This week, we invite you to join us for a step-by-step walkthrough of some basic mapping and visualization techniques that are possible with the Level 1A data for Uganda.

July 2015

Making geocoded data more accessible: Introducing Level 1A

AidData is excited to announce several improvements to our upcoming geocoded datasets that will lower barriers to entry for end users who want to see who is funding what and where they are siting their investments.

March 2015

Poverty in Pakistan: Numerous efforts, many numbers, not enough results

Although great strides have been made, millions of Pakistanis remain vulnerable to falling into absolute poverty.

February 2015

Launching a Geospatial Data Revolution

There are three major challenges for the development community in launching a Geospatial Data Revolution.

February 2015

Staging a Geospatial Data Revolution

Before the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are finalized, it’s critical to take stock of what we have – and have not – accomplished before we double down on the next fifteen years.

February 2015

A 5 Minute Dive Into Our New Geocoded World Bank Data

This dataset offers an exciting opportunity for researchers and policymakers to better understand the impact and allocation of World Bank projects.

January 2015

New Minerva Research Explores the Relationship Between Aid and Conflict

The Minerva Initiative will allow academic researchers to examine whether development aid makes countries more or less resistant to violent conflict within their own borders.

November 2014

Democratizing Development: Mapping Chinese Investments in Africa

Launching today, AidData’s interactive geospatial dashboard features over 2000 Chinese-backed development projects in Africa, disaggregated to the provincial, municipal, or street-corner level.

September 2014

Open Contracting: Going Granular for Increased Transparency and Accountability

Having easy access to procurement information will help move the development conversation from one about what is happening where to one about how resources are being allocated and projects are being implemented on the ground.

September 2014

Mapping for a Cause: MapGive Ebola Outbreak Mapathon

A remote mapping event organized by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and the Red Cross, the Mapathon brought together 50+ volunteers to aid humanitarian relief respondents fighting the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

August 2014

Geocoding 101: A Behind the Scenes Look at Visualizing Aid and Development

Now anyone can easily download the data from our IATI publisher page or aiddata.org to understand who is funding what and where. Here’s an inside look at the process of creating geocoded data, such as that from Nepal, from start to finish.

July 2014

Taking the Health Aid Debate to the Subnational Level

Macro-level studies largely condemn health aid as ineffective or minimally effective in the aggregate. Most of the praise for health aid comes from project-level analyses. It may be time to rethink the way we’re analyzing these relationships.

July 2014

Did the International Community Fail the Central African Republic?

The extent of the need and limited resources makes understanding how humanitarian assistance is being distributed in the Central African Republic even more critical.

May 2014

Rebuilding Honduras: The Role of Transparent Aid to Restore Public Trust in Government

This year, in partnership with USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network, AidData is supporting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the Government of Honduras to geocode all foreign aid projects tracked by the PGC.

May 2014

MapAfrica: African Development Bank Looks to Institutionalize Geocoding

The MapAfrica effort builds upon AidData’s existing partnership with AfDB to geocode their ongoing projects by applying precise location information to discrete development activities.

May 2014

Official Press Release: AidData and the African Development Bank Launch MapAfrica, Move From Mapping Financial Flows to Mapping Results

The interactive online platform enables citizens, government officials and donors to view the geographic location of AfDB’s investments in development projects throughout Africa.

May 2014

Gender and GIS: Using Maps to Improve Food Security in Uganda

Utilizing geocoded data, such as that available from the Uganda Aid Management Platform, researchers can use spatial data to understand how the gendered dynamics in Uganda make it difficult for women to realize their full potential in agriculture.

March 2014

DRC Launches Geocoding Effort to Improve Monitoring of its Foreign Assistance

The launch of geocoding work in the DRC is timely, as government ministries and development partners have repeatedly emphasized the need for geographic data on foreign aid investments, and for those data to be in a common format and central location.

March 2014

Delivering Better Governance and More Effective Aid with Spatial Information

Information on both development inputs and outputs should be a powerful asset in delivering better governance and more effective aid for developing countries.

January 2014

We Have Geocoded Data in Uganda – Now What?

With this geocoded data, the Ugandan government hopes to visualize who is funding what and where in their country to inform national development planning, improve coordination between development partners, and strengthen civil society interventions.

January 2014

Connecting the Dots: Spatial Analysis and Visualization Using the 3.0 GIS Portal

Point data is useful for identifying a precise latitude and longitude or understanding the distribution of projects at a macro level.

December 2013

Geocoding: A Route to Deeper Transparency for the African Development Bank

Being able to understand which projects exist, where gaps are, and who is working on what to address these gaps, will help all parties make more informed choices.

July 2013

Can Mapping Nutrition Assistance Help Uganda Solve Its Malnutrition Problem?

Geocoding—applying subnational geographic coordinates to discrete project activities—is crucial for analyzing how current nutrition investments are addressing malnutrition, in addition to identifying where funds are flowing and from whom.

July 2013

Cleaning Up the Murky World of Geocoded Data

While geocoded data represent a tremendous boon for aid transparency and aid effectiveness research, there are limitations to what we can learn from them.

July 2012

The Case for Using Geocodes and Activity Codes at Project Appraisal: Insights from a World Bank Anti-Malaria Project in the DRC

Putting timely and actionable information like this in the hands of government and IGO officials who make development policy decisions with far-reaching consequences is a central part of AidData's raison d'être.

July 2012

New Geocoded Data Sheds Light on Social Conflict

The Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD) includes events through 2011, and the entire dataset is geo-referenced to provide latitude and longitude coordinates for more than 7,900 conflict events.

April 2012

Where are donors working in Malawi? A new dataset sheds light

The dataset includes sub-national geocodes for approximately 550 aid projects undertaken in Malawi since 2000, representing nearly $5.3 billion in total commitments or roughly 80% of all aid reported to the Ministry of Finance during that time.

March 2012

Mapping makes it easier to identify links between climate change, conflict, and aid

CCAPS researchers are investigating the interplay of climate-related hazards and incidents of violent conflict, and the way conflict dynamics are changing over time and space.

February 2012

The Case for Using Project-Level Data to Study Aid Distribution and Impact

Finer-grained aid information is helping scholars gain greater leverage on questions related to aid allocation and effectiveness.

December 2011

Mapping World Bank Project Success Patterns in Afghanistan: Does the Spatial Distribution of Violence Matter?

The spatial distribution of violence and project performance do not correspond as closely as one might expect.

September 2011

Using Remote Sensing Technologies to Monitor Aid's Impact

Remote sensing can help social and environmental scientists better understand aid's role as a possible driver of land use and land cover change

August 2011

A spatial perspective on World Bank health projects in India

While development indicators improved in some regions over time, some regions were continuously lagging behind.

August 2011

AfDB Geocoded Data Set Now Publicly Available

The data include more than $10 billion in AfDB Group funding to 43 African countries.

June 2011

Where does aid go? Mapping the African Development Bank’s Activities

AidData's new map shows the AfDB's ongoing operations in three countries: Cameroon, Morocco, and Tanzania.

April 2011

Time for some mashups: World Bank and AidData released geographic data for 81 countries and launch open.aiddata.org

The geocoded data represent more than 16,000 locations for more than 2,700 active Bank activities in all 79 IDA countries, plus China and the Philippines.

April 2011

Bangladesh: Mapping climate change and food security

Mapping results in Bangladesh shows how swiftly Bank support has been distributed to reach people in need, and in locations where impact is greatest.

August 2010

Mapping For Results

Geo-referencing creates the localized information that empowers recipients to hold their governments accountable and makes it possible to easily visualize aid information so it is accessible and understandable.

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