DevGlobal Leads Gates Foundation Geospatial Impact Evaluations CoP

DevGlobal leads community of practice for geospatial impact evaluations with award from Gates Foundation 

DevGlobal will support a four-year, $4.74 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to broaden the use of Earth Observation to evaluate agricultural and climate investments. Led by William & Mary’s AidData, the aptly named GeoField initiative is an urgent call to social scientists, agronomists, and climate scientists to work together with innovators, data, and technology providers to integrate Earth observation with impact evaluations for climate-sensitive agriculture in the developing world. 

“Unlocking the full potential of Earth Observation requires that we bring the best minds together across disciplines and countries. With satellite technology rapidly advancing, there is no better tool to evaluate what interventions make a difference on the ground. The urgency of climate crisis means we can no longer afford to ignore this immense opportunity,”

Rhiannan Price, co-Principal Investigator for GeoField and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at DevGlobal. 

GeoField will create a showcase set of use cases highlighting the power of integrating EO into climate‐sensitive evaluations, including published scientific papers and complementary datasets, code, tutorials, and methods and policy briefs. In parallel to this cutting-edge research, DevGlobal will steward a new, robust “Community of Communities” of Practice (CoP) around the use of Earth Observation in agriculture impact evaluations that encompasses existing networks of evaluation organizations and funders, EO scientists, on‐continent policy and data organizations, and industry partners.  

GeoField’s initial rapid case studies will showcase impact evaluations in Nigeria, Niger, Bangladesh, and Nepal where Earth Observation data has played a critical role.  

About the Partners

Housed at William & Mary’s Global Research Institute, 30+-person AidData connects decision-makers and researchers who have a shared interest in working together using granular data and innovative tools to solve pressing problems, precisely target resources, and use rigorous evidence to measure the impacts of policies and investments. AidData prioritizes working in areas where the team’s expertise can have an outsized impact — data-poor environments where there is an unmet need for better evidence and insights. 

Spanning Africa, India, and the United States, DevGlobal Partners supports the world’s leading nonprofits, companies, philanthropies, multilateral agencies and government agencies on their innovation and sustainability initiatives. DevGlobal builds teams and brings organizations together to democratize technology, bridge divides and disrupt with intention. DevGlobal has extensive background in Earth Observation and geospatial technologies. 

Mercy Corps is a global team of over 5,400 humanitarians working to create a world where everyone can prosper. In more than 40 countries affected by crisis, disaster, poverty and climate change we work alongside communities, local governments, forward-thinking corporations and social entrepreneurs to meet urgent needs and develop long-term solutions to make lasting change possible. Across its humanitarian and development program and research portfolio, Mercy Corps explores and tests solutions to advance climate-smart agriculture. Mercy Corps has a total operating budget of over $550 million and last year reached over 50 million people.