Development Assistance Database (DAD)

This online database is developed by Synergy Systems Inc. as a tool for government to coordinate development efforts with regards to countries, NGOs, multi-lateral organizations or other such organizations. According to the Synergy Systems website, the tool is an “implemented solution for aid management, public investment and national budgeting” which can be used for good governance, public accountability and transparency. Thus, this system works closely with UNDP. This system was first implemented in Afghanistan in 2003. This system has been implemented in more than 35 countries, and each country has its own database with a website. Anyone can access the data online. This is an online data entry system that has analytical reporting, charting and mapping. The database incorporates a lot of visual representation, which one can tell how much each donor committed and actually donated. It also integrates financial management, since it is accounting publicized online. One can also see what projects or sectors donors specifically pledged to. The company modifies the system to meet each country’s needs, and the system also has multi-lingual capability.

The system is often implemented after a disaster such as the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the earthquake in Pakistan and Haiti. The system is easy to use and navigate. It is a great resource and if used correctly, the data should be used and analyzed to manage aid.  However, some negative aspects of the system are if the system was put in place before or after a disaster. For example if implemented following a disaster, information may significantly lag in time and  thus, provide no use. Also, if there is compliance and incentives for parties to use the system. Government may demand too much information from parties, which may actual deter donors. Overall, the flaws of this tool is more external with regards to the implementation of the system by the government and if the government is ready to use it.

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2 responses to “Development Assistance Database (DAD)

  • suzannahschneider

    I found a handy demo of DAD here for anyone who wants to learn more and see the tool at work: http://www.synisys.com/index.jsp?sid=1&id=53&pid=53

    Development Assistance Database looks very user-friendly and incredibly dynamic. However, I wonder how much use it actually gets. Plus, when trying to navigate the sites themselves I was unable to click on anything on the Rwanda, Afghanistan, or Pakistan DAD site. They seemed to be blocked.

  • jtriplet

    While I doubt that average citizens will access the DADs on a routine basis, I think they would be increadibly powerful tools for people who run and organize aid agenices, NGOs, and government-sponsored development programs. The visual representations are extremely clear and allow for users to conceptualize the data in new ways. Such graphs and charts also drastically cut down on times spent sifting through data to find highs, lows, averages, and other useful mathematical reference points. Additionally, the multi-lingual aspect helps this techtool overcome the language barrier componant of the digital divide. Although this tool may not fall directly into the hands of citizens in developing countries, it nevertheless has important and useful implications for the more organational side of development efforts.

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