Resources for international development are scarce, making it incumbent upon foundations, nonprofits and foreign-aid agencies to coordinate their efforts, reduce overlaps and identify gaps in underserved areas.
On Monday, The Foundation Center in New York and Development Gateway, an independent nonprofit in Washington, announced a strategic alliance that will link the Center’s database on U.S. and global grant makers and their grants with Development Gateway’s information management tools and services that support international development activities.
The goal is to fill gaps in knowledge for people seeking solutions to global problems. “Better information is the first step to understanding what works, what doesn't work, and how to make a difference in improving lives,” Jean-Louis Sarbib, Development Gateway’s chief executive, said in a statement.
The ability to more accurately and efficiently target charitable dollars should be a boon to advisors to small foundations and individual donors focused on finding solutions to global problems.
A key focus of the new partnership will be AidData, a joint initiative of Development Gateway, the College of William and Mary and Brigham Young University.
AidData maintains an open database of information on foreign aid activities at AidData.org. The Foundation Center’s knowledge on private philanthropy will complement that database, creating a more comprehensive picture of resources for development, the statement said.
The data will be visualized on dashboards so that users can explore and analyze private flows alongside official development assistance. The partnership will also integrate Development Gateway's data on official aid into existing Center resources, such as WASHfunders.org, a tool that facilitates collaboration among donors for safe water issues worldwide.
According to the announcement, the strategic alliance is in alignment with the Center’s priority to build a global data platform for philanthropy as laid out in its Foundation Center 2020 plan.