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Journal of Globalization and Development

Ed. by Stiglitz, Joseph / Emran, M. Shahe / Guzman, Martin / Jayadev, Arjun / Ocampo, José Antonio / Rodrik, Dani

CiteScore 2017: 0.30

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.167
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.519

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The Structure and Dynamics of International Development Assistance

Michele Coscia / Ricardo Hausmann
  • Center for International Development, Harvard University; Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 79 JFK St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA; and Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM, USA
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/ César A. Hidalgo
  • Center for International Development, Harvard University Macroconnections @MIT Media Lab, 77 Mass. Ave., E14/E15 Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA
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Published Online: 2013-03-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jgd-2012-0004


We study the structure of international aid coordination by creating and analyzing a tripartite network of donor organizations, recipient countries and development issues using web-based information. We develop a measure of coordination and find that it is moderate, achieving about 60% of its theoretical maximum. Many countries are strongly connected to organizations that are related to the issues that are salient there. Nevertheless, we identify many countries that are poorly served, issues that are inadequately attended to, and organizations that focus on the wrong combination of places and issues. Our approach may be used to improve decentralized coordination.

Keywords: aid coordination; development assistance; network science


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About the article

Corresponding author: Michele Coscia, Center for International Development, Harvard University, 79 JFK St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Published Online: 2013-03-27

For simplicity, we name organizations through their well-known acronyms. A list of acronyms and the organizational names is included in Table 1.

http://www.devdir.org/stats.htm, May 30th, 2012.



A public web API is a tool that allows programs to access web content directly. These are commonly used to build dynamic content, but can also be used to retrieve data.

An alternative would be to consider a weighted measure, such as a correlation, rather than one based on cutoffs and counts. We did not take this route because we care about the quality of positive matches rather than the intensity of the negative matches. A regression approach treats both as symmetric. Secondly, correlation-based measures give higher weights to both positive and negative outliers and given the noise in the data, make the results less precise. This issue could be revisited if data based on triplets rather than pairs were used, as discussed in the concluding section.

Citation Information: Journal of Globalization and Development, Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages 1–42, ISSN (Online) 1948-1837, ISSN (Print) 2194-6353, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jgd-2012-0004.

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