AidData Summer Fellows, Open Nepal

Hello! My name is Emily McLenigan, I am a rising senior and International Relations major, and I am delighted to say that this summer I will be working with the organization Open Nepal in Kathmandu as an AidData Summer Fellow. I have worked at AidData in Williamsburg for the past two years as a research assistant, helping to create a publicly available database of project-level geospatial information about development aid flows. That is, I have helped collect data about the geographic locations of foreign aid projects around the world, and that data has been made available online to be used to make maps, for research, etc. It can get a little complicated! But now, I have the exciting opportunity to take the skills I have cultivated over the past two years and pass them on to AidData’s partners in Nepal, to further the mission of increasing aid transparency.

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Renewed Effort Against Child Hunger (REACH) and AidData

After coordinating and leading a GIS training at the Makerere University School of Public Health, I returned to focusing on nutrition mapping. I developed a concept note for the integration of AidData geocoding with the stakeholder mapping process, collaborated with contacts at MUSPH, the WFP, and the SUN secretariat on my planned methodology, and finally scored a meeting with the Uganda SUN focal person from the Office of the Prime Minister. I’ve come to learn that collaborating with government/UN agencies can be pretty hierarchical. After I pitched my concept note to the SUN focal person and received her approval and enthusiasm about moving forward, my work was taken more seriously at the WFP. She connected me with the REACH consultant who was working on the micro-level mapping I discussed in my last post. We worked together to edit the terms of reference for the mapping process and split the methodology into three sections: (1) Situation analysis (a review of nutrition indicators in Uganda) (2) Coverage map (AidData macro-mapping) and (3) Local context (REACH micro-mapping).

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Micro-level Mapping

Sorry for my absence! The last few weeks of my time in Uganda were a whirlwind of meetings, navigating a crazy city, and going on an awesome safari.

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