The Trouble with Data in International Aid Projects

Second in a series by Alexandra Noble (LBJ MGPS Student) covering her internship at InterAction. A major challenge of international development is the lack of data on what actually works. It is often hard to know the long-term benefits produced by aid projects, but data is changing that. Our conception of the trajectory and gains that have been made in the development field is becoming clearer with increasing amounts of data. (I highly recommend watching any of Hans Rosling’s talks for more information on this). Nonetheless, much of the data that exists is ultimately buried in long Excel spreadsheets that most people...

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