USAID looks to upgrade geospatial analytics

USAID looks to upgrade geospatial analytics

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with a mission to support developing nations, maintains a set of geospatial tools to help map and manage its global project work flow.

Recently the agency announced a plan to expand the geospatial technologies already offered through its GeoCenter, a coordinating service for providing technical assistance and tools for using spatial analysis in economic development.

In a request for information, the agency said it was looking for input from organizations involved managing, analyzing and visualizing data, “for the purposes of informing policy and decision-making in international development.”

Technologies sought include data mining, machine learning algorithms, social media and big data analysis as well as data visualization services.

USAID also said it wanted to partner with outside organizations to provide support for integrating new technologies. Technologies and services on the USAID’s wish list include:

Regressions and data mining, including the cleaning of data sets and interpolations of missing data.

Big data analytics tools to process “high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets in timely and cost-effective ways.

Social media analytics, including natural language processing, sentiment analysis, predictive analytics, anomaly detection and machine learning.

Data visualization technologies using dashboards, and user interface engineering to better communicate data to the public and decision makers.

Systems modeling and gaming techniques to crowdsource projects and forecast the reactions to proposals from different communities of interest.

“Data and their many applications are critical to the development infrastructure in the 21st century,” the RFI said, adding that the “core goal of its data and analytics team is to facilitate increased use of data and evidence to improve development outcomes.”

“By strengthening USAID’s evidence base and building its capacity to apply cutting-edge analytical tools in measuring and improving impact of our work, we aim to turn data into actionable information for development,” it added.

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