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New interactive mapping platform revolutionizes the way the Bank and its partners show progress on development work in Latin America and the Caribbean
Montevideo - The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today launched MapAmericas, a new online platform that allows users to easily view and track the results of development projects financed by the Bank and its partner countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
The new platform (www.iadb.org/en/MapAmericas) features interactive maps of the region’s countries that provide detailed information on active IDB projects, ranging from data showing where and how money is being invested, to multimedia stories describing the development impact on communities.
“MapAmericas is the culmination of several years of reforms that have revolutionized the way the IDB tracks its results and measures the impact of its development efforts,’’ said Julie T. Katzman, the IDB’s Executive Vice President. “This platform makes it easier for us, and the rest of the world, to share the results of our work more effectively and learn what works and doesn’t work in development. This is a tremendous opportunity to empower people, to learn from our experiences, and to do our work better.”
Katzman demonstrated MapAmericas at the IDB Board of Governors’ Annual Meeting in Montevideo on Mar. 18, describing the initiative as part of the Bank’s efforts to more clearly demonstrate its development impact. Maps and data on 141 projects in five of the poorest countries in the region—Haiti, Honduras, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Guyana—in addition to Uruguay, already are available on the system, and the remaining 20 Bank-member countries in LAC will be added by the end of 2013.
The geographical locations of development projects are displayed on maps, and visitors to the MapAmericas website, www.iadb.org/MapAmericas, simply click on icons to view richly detailed information on a variety of projects.
With each click, the user “drills down” to reveal additional “layers” of information about each project. For example, a user exploring IDB childhood nutrition projects in Haiti will be able to find out how many health clinics have been built, locate them on a map, and see actual photos of the clinics and their users. The user also will be able to view reports on the number of women and children who received oral vitamin supplements, how much money has been disbursed to finance the projects, and how infant mortality rates have evolved.
The new platform enables the IDB to embed images, videos, news stories, statistics, project indicators, and other related documents, providing a fuller understanding of the progress being made on the hundreds of projects that receive IDB financing throughout the region. By making so much information so readily available to governments and to the general public, the Bank hopes to enrich dialogue with donors, beneficiaries, and civil society.
And, by providing all project information in one place, the new platform also contributes to improve project management at the IDB and the countries’ executing agencies. It enables project specialists and managers from the IDB and from the region’s governments to more efficiently process complex data, enabling them to better plan, monitor, and supervise projects, as well as communicate progress and results to the public and to the development community.
MapAmericas is designed with what is known as open-data capability, so that in the near future, the Bank will be able to add additional layers of publicly available information gathered from external sources, including governments, other multilateral institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). That will make MapAmericas even more useful as a tool for researchers and analysts studying the progress of development efforts in the region.
Over the past four years, the IDB has implemented a series of reforms to improve the effectiveness of its development projects and increase the amount of information available to the public. MapAmericas reaffirms the Bank’s commitment to maximize the flow of information throughout its operations, enhance accountability and support the participation of civil society as a partner in achieving the region’s development goals.
- Pablo Bachelet