International aid information centre
A website through which people can find information on international development projects (funded either by national government, multilateral organisations or NGOs), comment on them, learn from them and contribute towards them.
The central piece of the website would be a map of the world with all of the projects geo-tagged on it. Each project would contain information on its partners, aims and any evaluations conducted on it. People from both developed and developing countries could add comments, upload photos or videos.
What social need does it address?
Creating a central, accessible repository for this information would help practitioners to work more closely and learn from similar work elsewhere. Making the work more accessible to the public would encourage a greater emphasis on evaluation and improvement.
The website would bring donors and tax-payers closer to the work they fund. It would help philanthropic individuals to target their money at projects more effectively and provide much greater oversight for the whole international development sector.
Finally the website would also bring people in developed countries closer to people in developing countries – many of whom now have access to the internet or mobile phones. Honest feedback from the recipients of aid to aid donors would really shake the system.
What’s new about it?
A database of international development programmes is maintained by the Development Gateway Foundation, but it is a very difficult to use and not designed for use by the public. This idea would stress throughout that it is for use and scrutiny by ordinary people, rather than professionals.
What inspired you?
I noticed that development NGOs often talk about ‘success stories’ in their marketing literature but rarely mention any rigorous assessments of their work. But there must be failures; why don’t we hear about them?
Idea submitted by Francis Bacon
Francis is a researcher and web writer/creator for a social research firm. He also blogs about international development.