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Danielle Heiberg, Senior Program Coordinator, InterAction

Americans are generous. According to Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, they gave nearly $3 billion to their favorite charities and causes in 2011. InterAction, an alliance of nearly 200 non-governmental organizations (NGOs or charitable organizations), estimates that in 2009 its members received $9 billion in private donations (which includes the public, foundations and corporations). InterAction members use these charitable donations to support their work helping the most poor and vulnerable. But where? And how?

To help answer these questions InterAction developed NGO Aid Map, an online initiative to map where InterAction members work and the specific projects they carry out in these countries. For the past two years, we have mapped the work of our members in Haiti, the Horn of Africa, and food security (or agriculture projects) globally. This past spring, we expanded the initiative to include China, India and Mexico.  And we plan to take the map global next year.

The projects on NGO Aid Map are provided voluntarily and are only a part of the picture of what the many charities in the U.S. are doing in the developing world, but it is an important first step towards understanding how billions of dollars in donations are used.

To date, over 3,800 projects from over 130 organizations have been added to NGO Aid Map. The site is searchable by organization, types of projects and geographical location. Visitors can learn more about a project to reduce newborn, maternal and child deaths  in India or about a micro-finance project in Haiti, among many others. Most importantly, the data is open and available for download, making the work of InterAction NGOs transparent

We encourage you to visit NGO Aid Map to learn more about what your favorite charity is doing and how your donations are making a difference in the lives of others.

 

NGO Aid Map is an initiative of InterAction and is funded by FedEx and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). For more information contact [email protected]

Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 26-June 1, following the release of the official forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. This week will highlight USAID’s work helping disaster-prone countries in Latin America and the Caribbean prepare for and recover from hurricanes.

Hurricane Stan Central America and Mexico

Hurricane Stan destroyed this building and many others in Central America and Mexico during the 2005 hurricane season. Photo credit: USAID

The National Hurricane Center announced on May 23 that 2013 will be a very active year, with between seven to 11 storm systems expected to develop into hurricanes.

USAID—through its Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance—is prepared to meet the demands of a busy hurricane season. It has been working year-round with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to ensure emergency and evacuation plans are in place.

All this week, USAID’s Impact blog will showcase how USAID and its partners have been helping to prepare hurricane-prone countries and communities for disasters, including:

  • Training on the Flash Flood Guidance System
    USAID works closely with meteorological experts in hurricane-prone countries, training them how to use this scientific system to help communities escape the most fatal side effect of hurricanes.