For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Science and Technology launched the new USAID GeoCenter, an Agency-wide resource to expand and institutionalize the use of geospatial tools and analysis in support of our development goals. The GeoCenter will enhance USAID's capacity in strategic planning and programming, evaluation, and research with the use of the powerful tools of geospatial analysis. The center is an integral element of the Agency's ambitious reform agenda, USAID Forward.
The GeoCenter serves a coordinating role for USAID by providing guidance, technical assistance, and resources on the use of spatial analysis and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The GeoCenter works with Missions and Washington offices on a range of planning, policy and learning activities by employing geographic methods and technology to help USAID think spatially about how we understand the problems we are trying to solve, how we design the programs we support, and how we monitor and evaluate these activities.
"The launch of the center is the first key step in enabling anyone in the world to visit a GIS map, click on a country, understand where all of our projects are, what they're doing, and the kinds of results they're getting," said USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. "It will help make our work far more accessible, transparent and effective."
The GeoCenter will coordinate closely with the other parts of USAID to create and implement a systematic approach to streamline our efforts to collect and display basic data on our activities for public access. By improving the availability of this data, the GeoCenter contributes to Administrator Shah's efforts to enhance aid transparency, and to the Obama Administration's commitment to the Open Government Initiative.
There is already strong demand from Missions for the technical services of the GeoCenter, and staff has begun providing training, tools, templates and standards for use across the Agency. Ultimately, the GeoCenter will make USAID a leader among the international community in the application of GIS technology for development.
Last updated: January 21, 2015