Geocoding and Data Visualization

Mapping Development Finance Information

AidData and Uppsala University’s Conflict Data Program have developed a comprehensive geocoding methodology that is both rigorous and flexible enough to be applied to all development aid projects. The methodology is referenced in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) data standard and can be downloaded for use by any organization at

This methodology provided a foundation for the Mapping for Results initiative (M4R), a partnership between AidData and the World Bank that resulted in 2,500 active World Bank projects being geocoded. AidData has also developed a geocoding toolkit (imaged above) to make it easier for donors to track geographical information on an ongoing basis. Additionally, AidData has partnered with the African Development Bank to geocode all of its projects approved from 2009-2010.

Following these initial projects, the Ministry of Finance of Malawi partnered with AidData, Development Gateway, and the Climate Change and African Political Stability program at the University of Texas, in collaboration with the World Bank Institute. The Ministry of Finance led the efforts to geocode the aid activities of more than 30 donors within Malawi’s Aid Management Platform. For aid donors, this will enable better coordination and harmonization of aid efforts. The geocoded dataset has been made public and its used by the Malawi Ministry of Finance to generate aid reports, catalyze new conversations with its donor partners, and improve aid effectiveness at the local level. Describing the impact of his government’s partnership with AidData, Malawi’s Minister of Finance, Ken Lipenga, notes that “[b]eing able to see in a map all the donor-funded activities...has transformed the way we think about development and positively helped our own planning effort."