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AidData was founded when three organizations—William & Mary, Development Gateway, and Brigham Young University—grew frustrated with the informational status quo and came together together to provide the global development community with more granular and comprehensive data on foreign assistance projects worldwide.

AidData is a research lab at William & Mary’s Global Research Institute of over 25 faculty and staff with a track record of successfully managing more than 90 grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements worth more than $50 million over the last 16 years. We equip policymakers and practitioners with better evidence to improve how sustainable development investments are targeted, monitored, and evaluated. We use rigorous methods, cutting-edge tools, and granular data to answer the question: who is doing what, where, for whom, and to what effect?

We live in an age of informational abundance. But decision-makers need help finding the signal in the noise—to target their resources where they can do the most good, to monitor progress over time, and to evaluate what works, what doesn’t, and why.

By 2020, we want to see a group of leading international development organizations make better-informed decisions at multiple stages of their programming cycles by leveraging cutting-edge methods and tools and rigorous evidence.

To this end, we’ve decided to prioritize long-lasting, strategic partnerships with organizations that are willing to challenge the status quo and innovate at multiple stages of their programming cycles—during due diligence and program design, when interventions are being implemented and monitored, and when determinations of program effectiveness are made and fed forward into the next round of investment decisions.

By 2016, AidData had more than quadrupled in size and established itself as an independent research lab at William & Mary, with Development Gateway and Brigham Young University remaining engaged as strategic partners.

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