The team behind the Atlas of Economic Complexity (see my post on this here) have come up with a fascinating network-based approach for analysing the global aid system.
As they put it:
International development is a complex global goal that faces massive coordination barriers. The difference in income between rich and poor has expanded over the years from a four to one factor to a hundred to one. Where there once were only a handful of development agencies, thousands have now emerged. The system that connects donor agencies, recipient countries and development challenges is extremely complex and should not be managed with a top-down approach… The Aid Explorer was developed as a tool to facilitate better aid coordination. The Aid Explorer enables users to understand what issues face which countries and which aid organizations are aligned to address these issues.
Some specific pointers:
- The Aid Explorer’s Profile pages enables us to see which issues face which countries and which organisations are best aligned to address them
- The Network maps can be used to explore how issues, countries, and organizations relate to each other
- The Rankings presents the findings and the best alignments of countries, issues and organizations
The process of developing the dataset, and how to use it, is described in more detail in the accompanying paper “The Structure and Dynamics of International Development Assistance“, published earlier this year in the Journal of Globalization and Development.