Mapping for results: It all comes together in one big picture

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The African Development Bank (AfDB), on Wednesday, May 21 in Kigali, launched MapAfrica, an interactive, online platform that charts the Bank’s investments in Africa.

To communicate results with even more clarity, the AfDB, in partnership with Aid Data, unveiled the new geocoding tool at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in the Rwandan capital. MapAfrica helps the Bank to ensure it allocates its resources to greatest effect. At the same time, it will give its stakeholders a better understanding of the Bank’s activities and their impact on local development.

MapAfrica is part of the AfDB’s commitment to providing transparent access to its work  and to show clearly where it is getting results on the ground, said Simon Mizrahi, Director of the AfDB’s Quality Control and Results Department, adding: “MapAfrica allows us to present our investments and results in a simple way, bringing us closer to the people we serve.”

With MapAfrica, users can navigate through the Bank’s projects by country, by sector, by project approval year or simply by zooming in on a specific region or country. The map layers, such as GDP or poverty rate, also allow users to make multifaceted analyses if they wish.

But MapAfrica adds much more value than just pointing to geographic locations: users can also discover how much the AfDB is investing and how each project improves the lives of the people who live there.

In the future, this tool will help the Bank to improve planning of its projects on the ground. It will also help the AfDB to understand where the development gaps lie and which donors are working on which projects to address these gaps, thus helping everyone involved to make more informed choices. For example, combining open data from governments, other donors, researchers, or NGOs on population, poverty, disease, or other indicators with interventions the Bank plans to make will help to ensure better targeting and also allow for better measurement of results.

MapAfrica will serve as a powerful tool to close the feedback loop by allowing beneficiaries and other stakeholders to share their views on the success of operations. The Bank plans more civil society engagement in its efforts for more accountability to stakeholders, and to gauge the effectiveness of their projects.

The MapAfrica launch took place as part of the Financial and Development Effectiveness Presentation, a signature event at the Bank’s 2014 Annual Meetings.

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