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AidData summer fellows ready to start work

“For me, it’s all about capacity building when we go in. What I want to do is show the staff how to take (AidData) data and turn it into something themselves, not have outsiders do it,” AidData senior research assistant Justin DeShazor ’15 said.


DeShazor will be working with Transparency International – Uganda as an AidData summer fellow for the next three months. He will work within the organization, teaching staff how to use geospatial information software and geocoded data. He aims to make it easier for them to find and use aid information in their work.Darice Xue

One of 21 AidData summer fellows, DeShazor and the group are working in five countries to teach others how to build geocoded data management, visualization and analysis into their work. They work with in-country host organizations including think tanks, advocacy groups, non-profits and universities.

Students will work on projects ranging from developing a GIS course to add to a master’s program curriculum at Kathmandu University to evaluating geocoded project records and their implementation realties on the ground at UNICEF – Uganda.

The projects and organizations include a wide range of responsibilities, but the goal remains the same. Students, the ones previously collecting the aid information, will now teach others how to use that data in developing countries.Rebecca Schectman

“I really wanted to take my work with AidData to the next level and represent the organization in a different way than I have as a geocoder,” AidData research assistant Rebecca Schectman ’16 said. “I’m interested in putting the data we develop to use on the ground.”

Fellows will be working in Mexico, Senegal, Timor-Leste, Nepal and Uganda, with 12 host organizations. Eight of these fellows are current students or recent graduates from William & Mary.

Clay Harris ’14 and Darice Xue ’16 will spend the summer at Mexico City’s Instituto Mora, working with faculty to incorporate detailed aid information for research, evaluation and analysis processes.

Peter Colwell ’15 will work at Kathmandu University in Nepal to develop a GIS course in the Master’s of Development Studies program. Sam Brecker ’15 and Lauren Harrison ’14 will work with Seeds of Life and the Government of Timor Leste Ministry of Agriculture to produce data, analysis and tools to support the office.Rob Marty

Rob Marty ’14, Schectman and DeShazor will work in Uganda. Marty will work with the Economic Policy Research Center, teaching staff how to use geocoded data to produce policy relevant research. Schectman will work at UNICEF – Uganda.

These students aim to help their host organizations approach development challenges and goals with subnational aid information. Check back with us for updates as the summer progresses.