Announcing the $25 Million AidData Center for Development Policy

November 9, 2012
Wayan Vota

Development Gateway is pleased to announce that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the College of William and Mary, Development Gateway, Brigham Young University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Esri, a five-year, $25-million cooperative agreement to increase global aid transparency through the AidData Center for Development Policy.

The award for the AidData Center for Development Policy is the largest ever received by AidData, a partnership between the College of William and Mary, Development Gateway, and Brigham Young University. The AidData Center for Development Policy will use geospatial data and create analytic tools to enable USAID and the broader global development community to target, coordinate, and deliver aid more effectively, with an improved ability to measure its impact.

By seeing where aid goes and what it achieves, by giving voice to citizens and beneficiary communities, and by facilitating evidence-based decisions, this award represents a quantum leap in the transparency needed to ensure that the generosity of the American people is matched by results that improve lives all over the world,

said Jean-Louis Sarbib, CEO of Development Gateway and former senior vice president at the World Bank.

The new AidData Center for Development Policy will be headquartered at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and support an innovation lab at OpenGov Hub, Development Gateway’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

Brad Parks, AidData’s Co-Executive Director at William & Mary, believes that the creation of the AidData Center for Development Policy will “fundamentally change the way that foreign assistance is targeted, monitored, and evaluated.”

The Center will build a global network of geographers, economists, political scientists, computer scientists, and statisticians who are committed to helping USAID and other development agencies reduce the cost and increase the impact of their aid programs,

Parks said.

Stephen Davenport, AidData’s Co-Executive Director from Development Gateway, says,

The AidData Center for Development Policy will have an impact well beyond traditional donor boundaries. The data, visual analytics, and research produced by the The AidData Center for Development Policy will level the playing field among donors, recipient governments, and citizens by providing access to actionable aid information.

The AidData Center for Development Policy is part of USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) – a new groundbreaking partnership with seven top American and foreign universities designed to develop innovative solutions to global development challenges.

The Higher Education Solutions Network is the latest step in USAID’s efforts to harness the best ideas from the academic and scientific community and young people worldwide to foster transformational progress in development,

explained USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.

By collaborating with top universities around the world, we hope to tap today’s brightest minds and focus ingenuity on global development challenges,

About AidData:

Each year, governments and international organizations provide approximately $160 billion to finance development projects in the world’s poorest countries. By developing new data collection and standardization systems, and creating innovative web-based tools that democratize access to the largest collection of development finance activities in the world, AidData makes it easier for governments, aid agencies, intended beneficiaries, civil society organizations, journalists, and researchers to track the distribution and impact of aid.

A collaborative initiative between Development Gateway, William & Mary, and Brigham Young University, AidData has established itself as a global leader in the provision of reliable, timely and detailed information about foreign assistance projects. It was formed in 2009 through the merger of two existing programs: Project-Level Aid (PLAID) and Accessible Information on Development Activities (AiDA).

Today, it is recognized as the largest public access database on project-level development finance in the world. The project tracks more than $5.5 trillion and one million development projects from 91 donor agencies.

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