The African Development Bank (AfDB) and AidData recently released a data set containing the sub-national locations of all AfDB projects continent-wide approved from 2009-2010. The data, available at Open.AidData, represent more than $10 billion in AfDB Group funding to 43 African countries. This release follows the June 2011 launch of an interactive map of AfDB project activities in Cameroon, Morocco, and Tanzania.
The AfDB projects were geocoded, or tagged with precise sub-national geographic locations, through a partnership with AidData. Using the UCDP/AidData geocoding methodology, this summer AidData researchers combed through AfDB project documentation to record the regions, districts, or towns where projects were actually being implemented. In many cases, a project has more than one location. In total, AidData’s researchers, working with AfDB project managers, were able to identify nearly 2,000 sub-national locations for 183 AfDB projects. Using these data, stakeholders can view the precise locations of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and other bank-financed activities.
The geocoded data are fully compatible with the IATI geocoding standard and World Bank/AidData Mapping for Results data, also available from open.aiddata.org and maps.worldbank.org. This allows researchers and analysts to mash up the data to examine donor coordination, sub-national aid targeting, and many other questions. It is exciting to see donors begin mapping their data to provide a clearer picture of the distribution of aid resources within countries, ultimately improving the impact of aid on the ground.
As governments look to “build back better,” we can expect an influx of government spending to stimulate the economy, and a shift in priority goods and services to purchase. While the world transitions from emergency response to recovery, governments’ focus will shift from using technology to procure other products, to procuring technology products themselves.