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What is the Project Location Model?

The Project Location Model is a data model to systematically collect location-specific information in projects supported by international development cooperation in a structured way. It was developed by the KfW Development Bank, which is using and improving it together with their peers and partners. The model is currently provided in Excel format (xlsx) to be used in combination with a KML file. Data related to specific project locations should be collected according to this standard. The project location model utilizes mostly predefined categories under the IATI standard and built-in selection methods facilitating clean data entry. A main difference to the IATI-standard is that the exising IATI list of location types has been expanded to cover all physical and immaterial location types required by international development cooperation standards.


You can find the current version of the projection location data collection template here.

For what purpose do you collect this information?

German Financial Cooperation uses structured geo-information to process project location datasets that help us report on the relevance, progress and impacts of our portfolio. We do geospatial analysis and create portfolio maps for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German public who finances our joint projects with their taxpayer money. Your cooperation will ultimately help us to justify and leverage financial funds for international development.

How can my project benefit from this?

You can ask your KfW project counterpart to provide you with the data that is generated by our geospatial analysis team. In addition we actively support the development of open standards, open data and open-source Software. We have an R package wich is able to automatically download, pre-process and analyze several open data-providers and generate statistics on climate, land-use, forests, ecosystems, water bodies, wildfires and many more see (here)[].

KfW’s Project Location Data Collection and Management Approach

In this Section we explain the project location model according to which project location data should be collected as well as technical requirements for the data collection. The goal is to inform KfW staff, Project Executing Agencies (PEAs), consultants, and other external stakeholders responsible for data collection as to the types of location data to be collected and in what form.

Our project location model is mostly based on the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standard. The IATI Standard is used by international development organizations and allows harmonization of development project location data across heterogenous projects. The data to be collected are subject to minimum requirements in the form of mandatory fields, and there are optional fields flexibly usable for collecting site-specific information.

Furthermore, projects are able to store single location points (e.g., the location of one power plant site) or a larger number of project sites and features (e.g., 300 locations of buildings in different sectors within the framework of a decentralization project). In addition, project sites with larger areas and more complex geometries (e.g., polygons of forest protection areas) are supported as well but have to be submitted in an additional KML file.

Please note, that KfW does not publish any exact coordinates of its project locations. Location data collection in fragile and conflict contexts should be treated with extra diligence.

When to collect project location information

KfW strongly encourages the PEA and/or consultant staff to collect geo-coordinates as early on as possible in the project cycle to increase the usage potential of such data throughout the entire project cycle. Ideally, data should be collected already during the project preparation phase, e.g., as part of the feasibility study.

If no exact locations can be determined at this stage, approximate location should be used and later be checked during the project appraisal and inception stages, including possible transformation from approximate to exact location information (see technical notes on the project location model for details). During project implementation, data should be updated at least annually in project progress reviews, and in order to reflect potential changes in the geographical allocation of funds, which are common in Financial Cooperation projects.