USAID Plans to Map All Its Spending Data in Some Countries

Joseph Marks | Nextgov | January 19, 2012

The U.S. Agency for International Development's new GeoCenter is working on a project to geographically code all agency program sites in selected countries with financial and other data, Administrator Raj Shah said Thursday.

USAID gathered spending data for most of its programs onto a public database in September 2011 as part of the U.S. commitments under the international Open Government Partnership. The GeoCenter project will pull that financial data into an online map and combine it with other international development information.

The department expects other agencies, researchers and entrepreneurs eventually to lay their own geographic data sets over the maps, Shah said, either to better assess the effectiveness of USAID programs or to collect input for their own projects. A geographically coded data set about a country's education levels, for example, could be laid over the map to determine if USAID money is disproportionately benefiting higher education areas...