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AidData: Tool for Tracking Development Finance

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:49 AM
Contributors: Development Gateway Foundation, Brigham Young University, William and Mary
AidData is a tool that attempts to capture the universe of development finance, increase the value of data by providing more descriptive information about development activities, provide data in an accessible format, and strengthen efforts to improve donor and recipient strategic planning and coordination.

The PLAID Project -- the predecessor to AidData -- benefits from significant support given by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, Richard and Judy Finch, and the National Science Foundation. PLAID is a partnership of the College of William and Mary and Brigham Young University. Its successor, AidData, is a merger of PLAID and the Development Gateway's Accessible Information on Development Activities (AiDA) Additionally, our work would not be possible without the institutional support of the College of William and Mary, Brigham Young University, and the Development Gateway Foundation.

The AidData Vision

The AidData team is committed to building an easy-to-use, comprehensive, and timely resource describing the universe of development finance project-by-project, including all grants and loans committed by all major bilateral and multilateral aid donors. We currently have the most comprehensive database on development finance, but have plenty of additional work to do. Better data will help increase aid targeting and coordination, and it will enable better measurement and evaluation of aid effectiveness. AidData is currently developing a publicly-accessible interface that will enable researchers, field workers, and policy makers interested in development finance to access detailed project level data in order to increase transparency, accountability, and effectiveness.

AidData Project Information

The core of the AidData database currently encompasses multilateral and bilateral donor projects spanning the years 1945-2009. It contains information from traditional aid sources such as the OECD's Creditor Reporting System (CRS) as well as donors not captured by the CRS and activities that do not fit the OECD definition of Official Development Assistance (ODA). AidData augments existing data by publishing more complete project descriptions and more detailed aid project purpose codes. In particular, AidData is dedicated to collecting project-level data from all multilateral donors and non-DAC bilateral donors (NDBs) to provide a more complete picture of development finance flows and activities. This resource will allow donor organizations, citizens in donor countries, researchers, NGOs, recipient governments, and, ultimately, the beneficiaries on the ground in developing countries to gain a more detailed understanding of past and present trends in aid.

The Future of AidData

The AidData team at the College of William and Mary and Brigham Young University recently joined forces with Development Gateway to form what is now AidData, a development finance portal that combines the breadth and depth of the PLAID database with the timeliness and accessibility of the Accessible Information on Development Activities (AiDA) project. Over the next two years, AidData will expand to include previously unpublished data from both traditional and new donors. We also intend to classify and publish data on private aid flows as it becomes available. We will develop a variety of data visualization, networking, and mapping tools to allow a variety of different types of users to use this information in their work. AidData increases accessibility to this information for policymakers, NGOs, foundations, partner country officials, researchers, journalists and the public.

Who is AidData?

The AidData team includes scholars in economics, political science, sociology, and computer science, development practitioners, and NGO researchers based out of Development Gateway in Washington, DC, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and Brigham Young University in Provo, UT.  


For More Information:

For all general questions regarding AidData, please contact:



For questions related to the AidData Conference, please contact:

Christian M. Peratsakis
Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations
College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA 23187


For questions related to data access, collection, and analysis, please contact:


Ryan Powers
Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations
College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA 23187

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