Mapping aid, conflict and climate change

AidData, in partnership with The Strauss Center’s Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program, has released the pilot version of its dynamic mapping tool. The online portal allows people to visualise African climate change, conflict, and now Malawian aid information side by side.

“The complex pathways from climate change to security impacts have demanded new datasets to fill knowledge gaps, but also new ways of presenting the data to be of most use in policy planning,” said Francis J. Gavin, Director of the Strauss Center. “This mapping tool allows policymakers to analyze data from multiple sources at once, providing integrated analysis of the drivers and responses related to security risks stemming from climate change.”

If all donor governments publish their aid information to the International Aid Transparency Initiative more tools like this can be built and populated with comprehensive and timely aid information. Aid transparency can not only unlock a big picture of global aid activities, but can also enable a better understanding of the interplay between aid and other resources or events.

To assess the interaction of climate vulnerability and international aid, users can locate aid projects funded by the 27 donors tracked in Malawi’s Aid Management Platform, layered on top of climate change vulnerability data. Mapping such aid flows provides a new way to discern if adaptation aid is effectively targeting the regions where climate change poses the most significant risk to the sustainable development and political stability of a country.

While the mapping tool is in its first stage of development, the next stage will convey a comprehensive picture of trends in Africa through the use of thematic mapping tools. Users will be able to access raw CCAPS data and use the mapping tool to combine CCAPS datasets with other organizations’ data to aggregate and disaggregate data in the way that is most useful to them. The thematic mapping tools will include data on climate change vulnerability, conflict, adaption aid (climate-coded aid projects and continent-wide data on adaption aid), and governance.

By integrating the various lines of CCAPS research, as well as other existing datasets, the tool aims to provide the most comprehensive view yet of climate change and security in Africa. CCAPS and AidData will release the thematic mapping tools throughout the spring and summer of 2012.

The current mapping tool is available through a user-friendly interface at http://ccaps.aiddata.org/.

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