From the Desk of the Chief Data Officer
Brandon Pustejovsky, USAID
I am delighted to announce that USAID is releasing the beta version of its new Development Data Library as part of a broader suite of solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its programs around the world.  Unlike its predecessor which we first launched in 2014 as a simple website, the new DDL is a true data repository, actively managed by a staff of curators and suited for internal Agency analytics as well as sharing with the general public.  You can use the DDL to visualize data, download in its raw form, track changes over time, or create dynamic connections via an Application Programing Interface (API) to filter, query, and aggregate data.  

As USAID focuses its efforts on supporting our partner countries on the Journey to Self-Reliance, the need for data and evidence to support this journey is paramount.  How do we know whether a country is making progress in its ability to plan, finance, and implement solutions to address its own development challenges?  The Self-Reliance Country Roadmaps Portal uses a data-informed approach to examine this issue at the country level.  Yet the question is just as valid at the local level. How do we know whether a region, community, or village is becoming healthier, more literate, more food-secure, or better able to generate income?  These are the sorts of questions the DDL can help us answer. The data submitted to the DDL is simply fascinating, spanning subjects as diverse as land rights in Ethiopia to food security in Cambodia; microenterprise in Jordan; education levels in India; and health services in Ghana.  

The launch of the new DDL is one of several steps the USAID Data Services team is taking to make USAID a more data-informed agency, and we look forward to rolling out additional improvements along the way.  In the meantime, we invite you to explore our existing work in support of the Administrator’s Journey to Self Reliance initiative; a snapshot of Agency results on the Dollars to Results portal; thousands of country-context data sources on IDEA, and a data-informed tour of U.S. foreign assistance on Foreign Aid Explorer.