Author Archives: aiddata

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. Photo by Christian Maurer/Fotolia.The data revolution has a blindspot — data graveyards. (That’s where unused data goes to die.) Investors and producers of development data, including AidData,

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

“Leaving no one behind” — the animating theme of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — is just as relevant to the U.S. as it is to low- and middle-income countries. This is particularly apparent in Flint, Michigan,

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

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.Achieving sustainable development for all will require a seismic shift in how we measure progress and allocate resources. AidData already tracks who is funding what,

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What are development corridor strategies, and do they work?

Across large swaths of the developing world, a new trend is taking hold: governments are targeting public and private investments in specific geographic areas in the hopes of creating spatial “

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

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.

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Want to reform aid? Double down on impact evaluations

Washington is abuzz with talk of how the Trump administration might try to reform U.S. foreign assistance programs (see here and here). If they want to find legislative allies and avoid inter-agency gridlock, focusing more internal resources on evaluation — in particular,

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AidData launches new Listening to Leaders survey

Which development partners do leaders prefer to work with, and why? Do leaders in low- and middle-income countries perceive development partner priorities as aligned with their own? Are development partners effectively supporting progress towards the global goals and national priorities?

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

In a new report launched last month with the Governance Data Alliance (GDA), AidData presented the results of a 2016 snap poll that asked 3,000+ public, private, and civil society leaders from 126 low- and middle-income countries to share their views on the use and usefulness of governance data in their work. Two insights rose above the rest:

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Using machine learning to combat environmental degradation on a global scale

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

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Rating the 2016 project performance disclosure practices of 50 donors

Despite the fact that most major 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 (see how the donors fared, below).

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

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. Photo by UNMISS,

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From Pork to Performance: Follow the Money; It’s the Tip of the Iceberg

The farmer taking her produce to market, a father seeking a better education for his children, and a family displaced by a catastrophic earthquake have more in common than you might assume at first glance. The delivery of basic public services — roads, schools, and post-disaster assistance — is one of the most important functions that governments discharge. On the surface,

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Three insights into what data users demand: Are open data advocates listening?

At the recent Open Data Research Symposium and IODC16 in Madrid, participants pushed the debate beyond the supply of open data. Over a million datasets are currently in the public domain and there now exist 2600+ open government portals — an enormous number. We need to understand whether and how this data is being used,

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Parceling out prosperity? Tracking and evaluating the impacts of natural resource concessions…

How concerned would you be if a third of your country’s land was granted to foreign investors? Liberia has pinned its hopes for economic development on foreign direct investment, granting somewhere between 21% and 38% of the country’s land to investors, or concessionaires, in the agriculture, forestry and mining sectors. However,

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