Our Story

Kathmandu Lab

AidData tracks $40 trillion in funding for development. Now anyone can assess who is funding what, where and to what effect. Donors and governments can maximize the impact of their investments. Citizens can hold their leaders to account for results. 

Making data more accessible and actionable for everyone is core to what we do. AidData conducts cutting-edge research on the targeting, coordination and evaluation of development assistance. We put these insights into practice with tools, training and lessons learned to benefit local communities.

Our History

TechCon 2014

AidData was formed in 2009 as a partnership between three institutions — the College of William & Mary, Development Gateway and Brigham Young University.

Created from the merger of two prior initiatives, Project-Level Aid and Accessible Information on Development Activities, AidData filled a critical information gap for scholars and policymakers seeking to better assess development investments and results.

In 2010, we released our searchable data portal of one million past and present development finance activities from over 90 funding agencies.

In 2016, the members of the AidData partnership came to an agreement that AidData would function moving forward as a stand-alone development research lab at the College of William and Mary. This re-structuring of legal and operational relationships supports the continued growth and success of AidData, Development Gateway, and Brigham Young University in their respective endeavors. AidData maintains strong working relationships with our co-founders Development Gateway and Brigham Young University, and these organizations will continue to support and contribute to AidData’s work, including as members of the AidData Center for Development Policy.

With one foot in academia and the other in practice, our background allows us to create and test innovative solutions that lead to practical, concrete improvements in the field of development.

Our Vision

Uganda Focus Group

We believe that liberating data on aid and development can be transformational. It can facilitate inclusive dialogue, enable decisions based on evidence, and challenge us to assess progress more rigorously.

But supplying more data alone is not enough. It is people — citizens, scholars, government and donor officials — who give information purpose and put it to work for positive change in our world.

AidData not only publishes a comprehensive development finance data portal, but invests in creating tools, analysis and training that makes this information useful in research, program planning and advocacy.

We work with donors, governments and civil society groups to build their confidence and skills in incorporating data on development resources and results within their daily work.

Our Impact

Kenya armed conflict and aid map

Data is a means to broader ends — we want to see people able to make informed choices about how to target development resources based on need and opportunity.

AidData analyzes development data, and provides others with the tools and skills to do the same.

We visualize aid to improve donor coordination, build the capacity of government ministries to manage aid resources, and provide citizens with a platform to voice feedback on development projects within their community.