World Bank and AidData put aid information on the map

April 20, 2011Andrea Calabrese

PRESS RELEASE

Washington, DC – The World Bank has released maps of its activities in 81 countries as part of the Mapping for Results initiative, a partnership between the Bank and AidData. The geocoded data represent more than 16,000 locations for over 2,700 active Bank activities across the world’s 79 poorest countries, as well as China and the Philippines. The Mapping for Results initiative is part of the World Bank Open Data Initiative and is fully committed to open, free and easy access to raw data. The socioeconomic and geographic location data displayed on the Mapping for Results platform can be downloaded, expanded, manipulated, and re-used without restriction. All of the geographic location data can also be accessed through the World Bank Open Data API.

The projects were geocoded by a team led by AidData researchers, who provided technical oversight and quality control for the geocoding process. AidData is a joint initiative of Brigham Young University, the College of William and Mary, and Development Gateway, and seeks to make aid information more accessible and transparent, particularly through a searchable database available at AidData.org. AidData contributed its expertise in standardizing and enhancing project-level information on development activities to the Mapping for Results partnership.

"The Mapping for Results initiative is a huge step toward empowering citizens to hold donor and government officials accountable," said Jean-Louis Sarbib, CEO of Development Gateway. "Ultimately, citizens want to know how many vaccines are delivered, how many girls are able to attend primary school, and so forth—information on aid activities is much more powerful when it is transparent, easily accessible and understandable, and can be linked to results on the ground."

Today, AidData in cooperation with the World Bank Institute launched open.aiddata.org, a new toolkit for sharing, using, and interpreting aid information. At Open.AidData, others can download the UCDP/AidData geocoding methodology developed by AidData and Uppsala University in Sweden. This methodology was adapted for use in the Mapping for Results initiative and can be used by any organization that wants to geo-enable its project data. The methodology is also consistent with the new aid information standard developed by the International Aid Transparency Initiative, which makes it easier for donors to share their information in a comparable, machine-readable format so that it can be aggregated and analyzed.

According to Michael Findley, a principal investigator with AidData and assistant professor at Brigham Young University, "It is becoming clear that donors often give similar types of aid to the same regions or cities, even if those locations are not always the areas of greatest need. If other donors begin to map their projects as well, coordination problems could be a thing of the past, allowing for development aid to reach those who need it most."

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About AidData

AidData is a collaborative initiative to provide products and services that promote the dissemination, analysis, and understanding of development finance information. At the core of the AidData program is the AidData database, which is a gateway to nearly 1 million records of development finance activities from donors around the world. AidData is a joint program of Brigham Young University, the College of William and Mary, and Development Gateway. For more information, visit www.aiddata.org.

Press Information

Contact: Emily Kallaur, Development Gateway

Tel: 202-572-9227

E-mail: ekallaur@developmentgateway.org