Joint venture to build global repository of development activities

  • Show us the moneyPLAID researchers hope the project's final product will include information on every individual project committed by bilateral and multilateral aid donors since 1973.

    Show us the money

Project-Level Aid (PLAID), an interdisciplinary research project at the College of William & Mary aimed at showing the impact of international aid dollars, has come together with the non-profit organization Development Gateway to make detailed information on development finance more accessible and to create a comprehensive database on development activities.  The database, AidData, will be available online in the spring of 2010.

“We immediately saw the complementarity with Development Gateway’s work,” affirmed Michael Tierney, Director of International Relations at the College of William and Mary and PLAID researcher. “We originally built PLAID to do academic research, but input from the policy community made clear that a publicly accessible database could also promote accountability, coordination, best practices, and, ultimately, reduce poverty. The database has become a useful tool for academics and researchers, but there is great potential for a much wider audience to benefit from it.”

The PLAID database was created by researchers at William & Mary and Brigham Young University as a tool for analyzing trends in foreign assistance, aid allocation, and aid effectiveness. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. PLAID has aggregated data on development finance activities from traditional and non-traditional sources, including major bilateral donors, multilateral donors, and non-traditional donor countries.

Development Gateway manages AiDA (Accessible Information on Development Activities), a database of development activities which it provides as a public good.

It is a free, online database of past and present development activities around the world. It contains details on over 650,000 projects, broken down by sector, recipient, and donor. Every day AiDA adds more information to help its growing number of users navigate the diverse and complex field of international development activities.

AidData will combine the two.

The partnership builds on the distinct perspective of each team to bring greater efficiency and transparency to economic and social development activities worldwide. The two entities are working closely with the OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate, which manages the Creditor Reporting System, the authoritative source of official statistics on global development assistance.

“By combining breadth and depth of information, this partnership will fill a void and allow not only academic research but the monitoring of development activities and the exchange of good practice across borders” said Jean-Louis Sarbib, CEO of Development Gateway.

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