On Topic

Listening to Leaders

Recent Posts

April 2018

Enhancing statistics for the SDGs: A new project to increase use and impact of official statistics

AidData is polling producers of national statistics as part of a new collaboration with Open Data Watch and PARIS21.

Opening of the UN Statistical Commission’s 48th Session in March, 2017. Photo by UN Photo/Manuel Elias, fair use.
March 2018

China’s financial statecraft: Winning Africa one Yuan at a time?

Teasing out the nexus of money and influence in China’s development activities in Africa with a recent global dataset and a forthcoming report on leaders’ perceptions.

China’s President Xi Jinping and Zimbabwe’s President Jacob Zuma and his wife converse at the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Sandton, Johannesburg. Photo by GCIS, licensed under (CC BY-ND 2.0).
February 2018

Listening to leaders on education data: A new report

What data do education leaders want and need to improve learning outcomes? AidData and Brookings evaluate two new global surveys on decision-makers’ use of data and evidence.

Students in Kyrgyzstan take the National Admissions Test for university. USAID has been supporting the testing as means to expand access to higher education. Photo by USAID, licensed under (CC by 2.0).
November 2017

Decoding Data Use: What evidence do world leaders want to achieve their goals?

A new AidData report illuminates the black box of how leaders source evidence and use it to accelerate development in low- and middle-income countries.

Cover image of new report, Decoding data use: How do leaders source data and use it to accelerate development?
November 2017

Realizing Agenda 2030: Not just more, but better financing needed to succeed

How do the global goals crowd in international financing and inform domestic priorities? A new AidData report assesses the historical baseline for funding to the SDGs.

April 2017

Data for development: Measuring only what we use

Every dollar spent on data is a dollar not spent on life-saving vaccines or key environmental protections — so we should not collect data that we will not use.

A lightshow to launch the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is seen on the facades of the General Assembly and Secretariat buildings in New York City on September 22nd, 2015.
March 2017

Avoiding Data Graveyards: How can we overcome barriers to data use?

Development practitioners track mortality rates for scourges like HIV/AIDS, and malaria. But nobody tracks the mortality rate of data.

Development practitioners track mortality rates for scourges like HIV/AIDS, and malaria. But nobody tracks the mortality rate of data.
March 2017

No one left behind: Why we need granular data to respond to hotspots in the U.S. and beyond

The story of why deadly "hotspots" of high lead levels in U.S. neighborhoods went undetected for years, and how data can help address these pockets of inequality.

The Flint Water Plant tower in Flint, MI. As of 2017, the Flint water crisis remains ongoing. Photo by George Thomas, licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
March 2017

Counting the “missing millions”: Disruptive ideas to leave no one behind

Three reasons why the status quo of development data isn't good enough—and three examples of how we can change it.

Samantha Custer, Director of Policy Analysis for AidData, (second from right) moderates a panel discussion on 'The "Missing Millions" and Data Collaboratives’ in Cape Town, South Africa during the 2017 UN World Data Forum. Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth.
February 2017

AidData launches new Listening to Leaders survey

The survey will collect data from thousands of leaders on which development partners they prefer to work with, and why.

Grey letters on a green background read: "Listening to Leaders."
January 2017

Is governance data “good enough”? World leaders want more transparency, greater context

Relevance and credibility rise to the top as key attributes of good governance data, snap poll finds.

Information cards sit on a table at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Regional Meeting for Europe 2014. Photo by Open Government Partnership, licensed under (CC BY 2.0).
December 2016

Country ownership and aid: Learning from partner country perceptions of the US government

Can the US government improve the local ownership of its foreign aid programs by adopting more of the practices that its partner countries regard as useful?

A US delegation visited Protection of Civilians sites in Juba, South Sudan on May 27, 2016, meeting with camp leaders and women’s representatives. The delegation included, among others, the US Ambassador to South Sudan and the USAID Mission Director in South Sudan.
October 2016

Suits on the ground: Does "ground game" buy influence?

Does “ground game” — the strength of a development partner’s local presence and direct engagement with recipient government officials — affect how in-country decision makers assess the performance of development partners?

Alexandra Riboul with USAID talks with children at Tabarre Issa Emergency Relocation Camp in Haiti on June 7, 2010.
October 2016

Groundbreaking study on how developing world leaders view German aid

The study is the first to analyze Germany’s official development assistance activities based on the experiences, observations, and opinions of decision makers in the countries that German aid agencies seek to help.

The German flag flies in front of the Bundestag, the national parliament of Germany. Photo by Thomas Ormston, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
October 2016

Small but mighty: Denmark ranks highly as a development partner, according to report

Denmark is one of only six countries in the world to achieve the UN's development assistance target, though this is only part of the equation for development success. How do Denmark’s development efforts measure up from the perspective of its partner countries?

The Danish flag flies over the skies of Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo by Jacob Bøtter, licensed under (CC BY 2.0).
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.
March 2016

Walking the talk: Lessons learned and looking ahead to wave two of AidData’s Omnibus Survey

As international pressure mounts to deliver on commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is ever more important for development actors to understand how they can maximize their effectiveness and be helpful partners.

February 2016

Striking a balance: How donors can more effectively promote sustainable reform

Development partner organizations must strike a fine balance between their ambitions and political reality to effectively promote meaningful reform.

November 2015

Listening to our readers: Improvements to AidData’s Value for Money Index

The Value for Money index is the first attempt to combine data on the policy influence of bilateral and multilateral development partners, as perceived by participants in the 2014 Reform Efforts Survey, with international development finance data from AidData.

October 2015

Press release: Developing world leaders speak out on aid donors

The "Listening to Leaders" report draws upon the frank views of policymakers and practitioners from 126 low- and middle-income countries, and attracted the participation of high-level officials across the public, private and civil society sectors.

July 2015

Asking the right questions: AidData's Survey Practice

The "Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change" report analyzes the influence of over 100 external assessments according to over 6,750 survey participants, and it makes some interesting observations about factors that make assessments more and less influential.

April 2015

New "Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change" report shows how external sources of analysis and advice shape reform in low and middle income countries

The Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change report examines the influence of over 100 external assessments of government performance on the policymaking process in low and middle income countries.

March 2015

Money, Ideas & Reform: What does it take to influence lasting change?

With a new survey practice, AidData hopes to improve the ability of development partners to evaluate their influence and impact, but also to encourage greater attentiveness and responsiveness to the experiences and priorities of in-country decision-makers and stakeholders.

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