[open-development] African Development Bank and AidData map development projects

Emily Kallaur ekallaur at developmentgateway.org
Thu Jun 9 21:43:59 UTC 2011


*African Development Bank and AidData map development projects:*
*Increasing aid transparency for greater development impact*

*Lisbon and Washington, DC—June  9, 2011— *At its Annual Meetings, being
held from June 9-10 in Lisbon, the African Development Bank Group unveiled
an interactive map showing the precise locations of its ongoing operations
in Cameroon, Morocco, and Tanzania (
These countries represent a subset of the 2,040 activities financed across
the continent since 2009.  The map is the result of a partnership between
the African Development Bank (AfDB) and AidData (http://www.aiddata.org) to
geocode AfDB projects, which range from building primary schools, health
clinics, and roads to support for local institutions and entrepreneurs, and
other initiatives.

“The map makes it easy to see where the Bank is working,” says Simon
Mizrahi, Manager of the AfDB’s Results and Quality Assurance Department.
“Not just in which countries, but in which regions or towns.  Through this
partnership, we’ve been able to efficiently translate information which
existed primarily in long documents into a simple visual tool for decision
makers and the public at large to quickly understand what we do, and where.
This is a critical step toward being able to ask the right questions about
whether aid is going to the right places and what impact it has.”

To create the map, a team of researchers from AidData identified the
latitude and longitude of the location(s) where each project is being
implemented.  They used a geocoding methodology developed jointly by AidData
and Uppsala University in Sweden, available at http://open.aiddata.org,
which can be adapted for use by different types of organizations.  After
project locations were identified, dynamic maps for the web and mobile
devices were created in partnership with Esri.

“Geocoding takes discussions about aid from the abstract to the concrete,”
says Jean-Louis Sarbib, CEO of Development Gateway, which manages the
AidData program jointly with the College of William and Mary and Brigham
Young University.  “It allows you to assess whether aid is targeted to the
areas that need it the most, and whether it is having an impact on key
measures like immunization and school enrollment rates.  As other donors
begin geocoding their work as well, it will be possible to get an even more
complete picture of where there may be overlap or gaps in the coverage of
development programs.”

The availability of geocoded project data will help the AfDB to evaluate
progress and plan future initiatives to combat challenges in areas such as
climate change, infrastructure, governance, and private sector development.
Opening up this information will allow others to better understand where aid
is going, and to provide feedback on its impact.

*About the African Development Bank*
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s mission is to help reduce
poverty, improve living conditions for Africans and mobilize resources for
the continent’s economic and social development. With this objective in
mind, the institution aims at assisting African countries—individually and
collectively—in their efforts to achieve sustainable economic development
and social progress. Combating poverty is at the heart of the continent’s
efforts to attain sustainable economic growth. To this end, the Bank seeks
to stimulate and mobilize internal and external resources to promote
investments as well as provide its regional member countries with technical
and financial assistance.   http://www.afdb.org

*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.  In addition, the AidData
team works with a range of partners to geocode development activities,
create data visualizations, and explore new ways to collect and standardize
information about development projects.  AidData is a joint program of
Brigham Young University, the College of William and Mary, and Development
Gateway.  http://www.aiddata.org

*About Esri*
Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to
think and plan geographically. The market leader in geographic information
system (GIS) technology, Esri applications provide the backbone for the
world's mapping and spatial analysis via complete technical solutions for
desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms.   http://www.esri.com

*Press Information*
Contact: Emily Kallaur, Development Gateway
Tel: +1-202-572-9200
E-mail: ekallaur at developmentgateway.org

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