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Data Resources: Development Issues for Africa (ECON 366/AFS 366): Development Data Resources

Economic Data

AidData is a portal for an extensive database of development assistance. Users can query the data by combinations of aid recipient, aid donor (individual countries and multilateral organizations), year, and aid purpose. The AidData project has a separate site devoted to Chinese development finance.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Macroeconomic and Financial Data
The IMF's data library covers topics such as investment flows, monetary aggregates, economic output, commodity prices, exchange rates, public finances, financial institutions and markets, and both public and private debt. The available databases include the Balance of Payments Statistics, the Direction of Trade Statistics, the Government Finance Statistics, and the International Financial Statistics.

OECD Query Wizard for International Development Statistics (QWIDS)
QWIDS is a (relatively) accessible interface for very detailed data on foreign aid and development assistance that allows you to break down aid flows by combinations of recipient, donor, and purpose of aid.

United Nations Commodity Statistics Trade Database (Comtrade)
The UN's Comtrade database is a good source for commodity-specific bilateral trade data. Users can create their own extracts of data for both value and quantity of trade using different industrial classification codes and download those extracts for later use. Comtrade now also includes data on trade in services. This resource is also available via Databases at Emory.

UNCTAD Foreign Direct Investment Statistics
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) maintains a database on FDI statistics, including flows, stocks, and participation in international investment-related agreements. It covers the years 1970 onward and allows users to download data into Microsoft Excel. UNCTAD's World Investment Reports are another useful source for FDI flows and stocks.

Environment and Natural Resources

British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy
The Statistical Review of World Energy is a very good source for international time-series data on energy production and consumption, with a collection of downloadable data here.

Environmental Sustainability
This site, which is hosted by Columbia's Socioeconomic Applications and Data Center, compiles links to various sources for data on sustainability. Access to the data is free of charge but does require creating an account to download datasets.

World Bank Environment
This World Bank site contains links to various resources, including a collection of environmental data and statistics. The Bank also has a variety of other environment-related data sources ranging from snapshots of environmental conditions to indicators of "green accounting" to data collected from specific research projects. See also the environmental data section within the Bank's data collections.

World Bank Global Economic Monitor Commodities Data
"The World Bank collection of monthly commodities prices and indices from 1960 to present, updated on the third working day of each month, as presented in the Commodity Price Data (a.k.a. Pink Sheet), published continuously for more than half a century."

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Statistics
The FAO is a UN organization that is ostensibly devoted to alleviating world hunger. The FAO's collection of statistics and databases covers a variety of topics, such as water, agricultural production, and agricultural consumption. The geographic and time coverage vary by topic and database. Users can query the databases to create extracts of data of interest.

Political Data

The Afrobarometers are an ongoing series of surveys conducted amongst countries in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on topics such as civil society, government, and state-society relations. Data from the Afrobarometers are available from the project site and also via the ICPSR.

Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS)
The CCAPS project, which is hosted by the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT-Austin, is devoted to the study of the relationship between climate change and international/internal stability on the African continent. The project has produced various data collections such as the Social Conflict Analysis Database (SCAD), which provides event-level data on riots, coups, strikes, and other instances of social unrest, and the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED), which provides event-level data on various types of armed conflict.

Quality of Government (QOG) Institute
The QOG Institute is hosted by members of the Department of Political Science at Göteborg University in Sweden and is devoted to "the causes, consequences and nature of 'good governance.'" The Institute has created four collections of data on governance: a broad collection of governance indicators that is global in coverage; a more narrow collection that focuses on social policy in wealthier countries; data from expert surveys on politicization and professionalization of public administration in individual countries, and a new data collection on perceptions of corruption in individual regions within EU members. The data are compiled from multiple sources, including the Polity Project, the Cingarelli-Richards Human Rights Data, Transparency International, Freedom House, various international organizations, and datasets produced by various academics. The QoG data are available in SPSS, Stata, and comma-delimited (.csv) formats.

World Bank Governance Data
The World Bank hosts a website devoted to research on governance and institutional quality and their relevance for economic development and performance. As part of its efforts in this area, the Bank collects and distributes data on a variety of aspects of governance and institutional quality. Of particular interest may be the Worldwide Governance Indicators, which score countries in areas such as control of corruption and regulatory quality, and the firm-level surveys such as the Enterprise Surveys. The Bank's Actionable Governance Indicators Portal also brings together hundreds of governance-related indicators from multiple data sources and makes them available via tools for downloading and visualization.

Social Indicators

Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS)
The DHS is a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development to promote better gathering of survey data on health issues pertaining to family life and reproductive health in developing countries. Aggregated data from DHS surveys are readily accessible via the STATcompiler interface that allows for on-line visualization and for download in tabular form. Microdata files from the surveys are also available upon registration and application for access.

Education Policy and Data Center
The Education Policy and Data Center provides access to education measures and indicators from a range of sources such as administrative records, household surveys, and assessment tests. Users can search for data by country, topic, or level of education.

Gender Equality Data and Statistics
The World Bank's collection of gender-equality data is " a one-stop shop for gender information, catering to a wide range of users and providing data from a variety of sources." Amongst the resources here are collections of macro- and micro-level data on topics such as control of economic assets and financial inclusion and an extensive set of gender-themed indicators that can be downloaded in bulk or queried by country, year, and indicator.

Health, Nutrition and Population Data and Statistics
HealthStats is "the World Bank’s comprehensive database of Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) statistics," covering topics such as reproductive health, population growth, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and health facilities. The data are accessible through various means, such as via an interface that allows for both queries and bulk downloads and via tools to break health data down by household wealth.

World Bank Poverty and Equity Data
The World Bank has brought together a variety of datasets pertaining to the study of poverty, income inequality, and income distribution, along with other resources relevant for international development and economics. The many potentially-useful resources listed within this site include the World Income Inequality Database and PovcalNet. The site is part of the Bank's broader collection of poverty indicators. Other data resources are available via the Bank's "Poverty and Inequality" research program. Be warned - the World Bank tends to change addresses for websites without warning.

World Population Prospects
This database is produced by the United Nations' Population Division and contains cross-national data on basic population demographics and vital statistics (e.g. birth and death rates, maternal mortality, population by age and gender and urban/rural areas, median age of population). Data are available in five-year increments back to 1950 and with projections up to 2050. See for other data from the Population Division.

Data Services

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