This week, CCAPS and AidData published a first-of-its-kind geocoded dataset from the Government of Malawi’s Aid Management Platform. These data are also available through the CCAPS mapping tool, which enables users to overlay and visualize data on climate change vulnerability, conflict, and aid, and analyze how these issues intersect in Africa.
CCAPS and AidData partnered with the Malawi Ministry of Finance (MoF) to track all active aid projects in Malawi to assess where international development aid resources have been deployed to address climate change vulnerability and build adaptive capacity in the country.
The newly released dataset includes all types of aid for the 30 donors in Malawi’s Aid Management Platform, geocoded with a new methodology piloted by CCAPS and AidData to provide a more complete picture of how adaptation fits in to development efforts within the country. The dataset includes approximately 550 aid projects active in Malawi since 2000, representing nearly $5.3 billion in total commitments and roughly 80% of all aid reported to the Malawi MoF during that time.
AidData and CCAPS researchers have begun using these data to explore the sub-national drivers of aid allocation in Malawi. Researchers are still working to create robust analytical models, but initial results suggest that population density may be the most important determinant of allocation patterns—more so than poverty, access to electricity, or other measures of need. This is seen in graphs prepared by AidData/CCAPS researcher Mike Findley.
This pattern can be seen in a map as well, where it’s clear the less-densely populated Northern region has comparatively fewer projects, despite relatively high levels of poverty. Conversely, the main population centers—Lilongwe (the capital city) and Blantyre (in the Southern region)—seem to attract dense clusters of aid projects.
While these represent preliminary findings, the trends reveal how geocoded aid information can be put to productive use. Researchers and policymakers can analyze the data themselves by downloading the full dataset or exploring the data on the CCAPS mapping tool.
The research—led by Christian Peratsakis and Catherine Weaver at CCAPS, and Josh Powell and Mike Findley at AidData—is the first effort of the kind envisioned by the Open Aid Partnership, an initiative spearheaded by the World Bank that seeks to make local information on donor activities more accessible to improve the targeting, coordination, and delivery of aid.
The CCAPS program is currently climate coding the aid project activities to assess their focus on climate change adaptation and their potential to target climate security risks. CCAPS’ climate-coded data will be added to the CCAPS mapping tool in 2012.