Introduction and Definitions
Welcome to the Development Data Library (DDL), USAID’s repository for data generated with Agency funding.
Here, our partners in the field can submit datasets, get their metadata reviewed and cleared, and disseminate their data to a global audience. Data users can search and discover data, use it in built-in visualizations, and download and retrieve it 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 will be submitting data to the project. After registration, the account holder can use a broader range of the DDL’s services.
For data submitters, the DDL provides three services, which follow the data lifecycle:
- Data submission,
- Data review and clearance, and
- Data dissemination.
Using the DDL, data submitters can fulfil their contractual obligations to share and disseminate data on a common platform, and the DDL will make sure that the data and metadata are useful to data analysts, rigorously documented, and screened for personal identifying information or risks to security.
For data users, the DDL provides:
- Data search and discovery,
- Data access,
- Data use and visualization, and
- Data download and retrieval.
The DDL assists data users by storing valuable data from USAID projects and activities, and making them easily accessible so that users can understand and analyze them.