A Feel for Kampala

With two weeks in Kampala under my belt, I’ve begun to recover from my initial culture shock and acclimate to daily life in a developing metropolis. For this previously-uninitiated Westerner, that has required a great deal of compromise and a budding tolerance for boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis) on Kampala’s perpetually gridlocked, street sign-less roads. In this time, I’ve begun my work with Transparency International Uganda (TI-U), where I am working to visualize and interpret the spatial data in their “Action for Transparency” program, as well as assist my co-workers in gaining familiarity with geospatial data and tools to increase their internal technical capacity.

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Empowering Citizen Monitors in Uganda

Hey all!  My name is Justin DeShazor and this summer I’ll be working with Transparency International – Uganda as part of a joint partnership with the AidData Center for Development Policy, where I currently supervise a team of undergraduates who track and geocode development projects according to their purpose and geographic location.  I’ve been with AidData for almost two years, helping them produce an extensive database which provides this project-level geospatial information in a publicly-available format.  During this time, I also spent a semester with the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C. utilizing AidData’s research products to inform the committee on foreign aid distributions in priority countries.  These experiences, which complement my double major in government and economics, have helped me to gain an immense appreciation for both the scale of the challenges in international development and the potential for policymakers and implementing partners to bring about meaningful progress when armed with accurate and accessible information.  Because Transparency International – Uganda has striven for over a decade to support such transparency and accountability, I am so excited to travel to Kampala (in my first trip outside of the United States) and participate in their work.

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