AidData, a research and innovation lab that seeks to improve development outcomes by making development finance data more accessible and actionable, released the 3.0 version of its aiddata.org portal today during Global Transparency Week.
Building upon previous efforts to track all aid flows, the 3.0 data portal seeks to capture the total resource envelope available to countries to plan for their development. In one interactive interface, policymakers and practitioners are now able to compare data on more than $40 trillion in remittances, foreign direct investment and aid from 90 donor agencies. Private foundation grants and domestic public expenditure from developing countries also will be added in the coming months.
“A perennial challenge for policymakers, practitioners and civil society groups is joining up large, disparate datasets in order to identify patterns and trends,” AidData Co-Executive Director Brad Parks said.” AidData 3.0 makes it easier for users to collate, visualize and analyze the aid and development datasets that are most relevant to them.”
“We now have the data and the tools needed to support a policy discussion about the relationships between different development finance flows and real world outcomes, such as whether donors and governments are making it easier for citizens to access local health clinics that provide life-saving medicines.” AidData Co-Executive Director Nancy McGuire Choi said.
With the new data portal, AidData will provide enhanced visualization tools to make the analysis of data on incoming financial flows and development outcomes far more intuitive. The site now allows users to run search queries for specific aid projects or donors, and generates visual dashboards instead of large data tables from these search results. A new state-of-the-art GIS interface allows users to upload their own data, as well as create, save and share maps.
“AidData 3.0 makes it much easier for users to import their own datasets and generate powerful visualizations with multiple subnational data layers,” Parks said. “We look forward to seeing how users will leverage the new capabilities of the platform.”
AidData anticipates that the new data and tools available through AidData 3.0 will enable researchers, policymakers and practitioners to uncover new insights about the distribution and impact of development finance. The ability to export data using the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standardized format facilitates comparability among various data sources and public API access enables others to leverage the data available on aiddata.org in their own systems and visualizations.
“The new dashboards, data visualizations and maps bring to life data previously contained in rows and columns,” Choi said. “It’s a data sandbox with user-friendly tools for both techies and non-techies to explore the policy and research questions of greatest interest to them.”