The day you’ll be able to stumble upon development funds


This page in:

Quite literally…

Imagine walking around the streets of DC with your mobile phone in hand. You "point" to, say, a building or a bridge and an application on the phone allows you to detect whether the project is a beneficiary of some of the $787 billion allocated by the US Government American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The amount of money spent for the building and the name of the beneficiary are also displayed. Public spending could not get more transparent – and tangible – than this. Science fiction? Not anymore, thanks to the augmented reality mash-up just released by the ever inspiring folks at Sunlightlabs (hat tip: David Osimo).


Call me naïve or hopelessly technophiliac, but, as I argued before, an application along those lines, displaying projects funded by development agencies around the world, could go a much longer way to make the case for donor integration and coordination than many meetings. It could also help workers in the field and potential new donors make more informed decisions: a way to address both "web attention" and "web intention" deficit disorder (borrowing the helpful distinction proposed by Nova Spivack). Or, to put it another way, a visualization milestone towards the building of collaborative markets for aid.

Development Squared can’t come fast enough.

PS. For those who might be interested, I have started collecting examples of Development Squared in action via delicious (tag: developmentsquared) and twitter (#developmentsquared)

Photo Credit: Sunlight Labs

Join the Conversation

October 28, 2009

The best action donors could do on coordination would be to create a database where they log their expenditures in each it the "donor sunlight project."

Alberto Cottica
November 01, 2009

Very. Cool. I can imagine pointing it on the bridge on the Stretto di Messina and getting a blue ball so big that you'd need a movie theatre to fit it on the screen. And that's without the bridge having been built.

Aleem Walji
November 05, 2009

This is uber-useful. The Innovation Team at WBI is already thinking about linking up with the team at the Sunlight Foundation about tracking donor flows to developing countries. IATA is already thinking about this and we should get on the train.