Ground-Truthing Aid in Uganda

Hi, my name is Rebecca Schectman and I will be spending the summer in Kampala working as an AidData Summer Fellow with UNICEF Uganda. I’m currently a sophomore at William and Mary and am studying International Relations. I also work as a Research Assistant with AidData, a research and innovation lab that seeks to make development finance more accessible and actionable. My job primarily involves geocoding aid projects, or assigning locations to project activities financed by USAID, the World Bank, and other development organizations. The idea behind geocoding is that better visualizations will improve development outcomes by improving aid distribution, informing policy, and maximizing impact. This summer, AidData is sending students abroad to work with organizations in the field that share similar goals.


UNICEF Uganda is on the cutting-edge in the development community. It has developed DevTrac, a tool now being used to collect and spatially display site-visit information on what is happening on the ground at UNICEF and USAID project locations. In addition, Uganda’s Aid Management Platform, PIMIS, includes over 800 geocoded projects and will soon be publically released. My work will involve exploring the possibility of using these two datasets to inform and enhance each other. “Ground-truthing” aid, or assessing actual project sites for implementation status, results, and citizen feedback, will be used as a way to add richness to the geocoded data that AidData produces. I’m looking forward to traveling to Uganda this May and sharing our findings with you throughout the summer!


  1. peter colwell says:

    Hey Rebecca,
    Sounds Like you had a lot on your plate. Ground-truthing didn’t work out for me; did you make it happen in Uganda? Also, has the Uganda AMP emerged yet?