Introduction and Definitions


Welcome to the Development Data Library (DDL), USAID’s digital repository for data generated with Agency funding.
Here, our partners in the field can register datasets, submit the metadata and data for review, and disseminate their data to a global audience. Data users can search for and discover data, use the data in built-in visualizations, and download and retrieve data for their own use.
Data on the DDL are organized as datasets grouped into data assets. A dataset is a single data spreadsheet arrayed as a table, with a single tab and no formatting other than column headings. A codebook, in spreadsheet or document format, helps an end user to understand what the dataset contains.
A data asset is a group of datasets with common characteristics, such as datasets that were all generated by the same survey or research study. A data asset can share and automatically copy metadata fields to the datasets it contains. Each data asset has a primer page, an overview of the metadata associated with the data asset and related datasets. Datasets also have primer pages, which preview and visualize the data.
The DDL serves two kinds of people: data submitters and data users. These are often the same people, and you might find that you are one or both!
Both data submitters and data users can use one of the DDL’s core services: individual and partner account registration. Individual accounts have viewer rights, which allow them to view and use data on the DDL. Partner accounts are for members of implementing partner organizations who are submitting data to the repository.  After account registration, the account holder can use a broader range of the DDL’s services.
For data submitters, the DDL provides three services:
  • Data submission,
  • Data review and clearance, and
  • Data dissemination.
Using the DDL, USAID partners (i.e., data submitters) can fulfill their contractual obligations to submit their project and activity data to the DDL repository and share that data as widely as possible, while still protecting security and privacy. The DDL will ensure that each submitter's data are thoroughly documented and screened for security and privacy risks, such as personally identifiable information. The DDL then stores these valuable data from USAID projects and activities and makes them accessible to users. 
For data users, the DDL provides:
  • Data search and discovery,
  • Data access,
  • Data use and visualization, and
  • Data download and retrieval.
As USAID's data repository, the DDL connects data submitters with data users through available, accessible data that the development community can use to development outcomes.