Where Does the World Bank’s Money Go?

The World Bank launched a project called Mapping for Results to show the locations of where its aid projects to enhance transparency and social accountability.

The main page’s map is blank except for political borders that are outlined in light grey. Users can click on green dots that will tell them what the country is and how many World Bank projects are in that country. I like that it is simple and uncluttered. Showing the country names and different bodies of water would have been distracting. The names only appear once users zoom into the map.

I decided to click on South Sudan, which has 13 World Bank projects that are active. This led to – drum roll – nothing but a blank page. I assumed the map is still in the works. But I tried Sri Lanka, which has 22 projects, and the same thing happened.

I didn’t know if it was my browser or if it was that the World Bank hadn’t populated the hyperlinked page yet. However, when I tried Peru, it led me to the country’s page.

So, FYI, World Bank, your programmers should probably put up a page saying that the project is unfolding instead of leading users to an empty page.

On Peru’s page, the information shows that there are 31 World Bank projects in 214 locations. Users can click on the type of project from a menu that is shown on the top. If you click on a project, a pop-up box appears. The box details basic information and provides a hyperlink of the project ID, which leads you to another page that outlines the specific details of the project.

I like the set up. I can choose how much information I want. I can choose whether I want to still look at the map or if I want to find out what each project is about. I also like that the page layout offers statistics about the country and more data on the right sidebars.

I actually like a lot of concepts of this World Bank Map. The only design detail that annoyed me was the width of the map in the container. I accidentally scrolled over the left side, the map would zoom in or out. I would have changed the size of the container frame and give the user more padding room to avoid that problem.

I’m surprised by the lack of social media promotion of the main map. There are only 3 Facebook recommendations, and no Tweets. There’s so much data to dig, I thought more people be interested in seeing what kind of projects are taking place.

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