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Frequently Asked Questions

Mekong Infrastructure Tracker

FAQs about the development and use of the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker

  • May 26, 2020
  • 4:59 pm
What is the point of the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker?

The Mekong Infrastructure Tracker is an online platform which provides comprehensive, transparent data on the development of energy, transportation, water, and other infrastructure assets in the Mekong countries and the social, economic, and ecological changes they bring to the region. The Tracker consists of online interactive tools and resources which help fill an existing knowledge gap about the type and scale of the infrastructure boom in the Mekong region and builds a community of stakeholders who can utilize this data to support a more sustainable future for the Mekong region.

Can I download the data and use it elsewhere?

Yes! All of the project-level data in the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker is derived from open sources and is freely available for reuse and reference. We simply ask that you include a citation to our data set and the date of download in your references or bibliography. We also like to track and share user outputs using our data, so we would welcome an update if you publish anything referencing the Tracker.

How do I cite the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker?

Please use the following citation: Stimson Mekong Infrastructure Tracker, supported by USAID and The Asia Foundation, [your date of access], https://www.stimson.org/2020/mekong-infrastructure-tracker-tool/.

How do I use the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker? How can I use the tools on the Tracker to do analysis?

We have produced walkthroughs and tutorials for the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker tool and the Impact Screener that show the basics and how to use them to query specific items. These will continue to be updated in the future.

Do you provide training on how to use the Tracker?

In addition to the tutorials, our team does sometimes provide training workshops for potential users in person or via webinars if there is sufficient interest. If you are interested in hosting a training session for the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker, please get in touch with Regan Kwan at [email protected] with your organization’s details and we will follow up with you promptly.

Who built this tool?

The Tracker was designed and produced by the Southeast Asia program at the Stimson Center, a Washington D.C. based think tank which promotes international security, shared prosperity & justice through applied research and independent analysis, deep engagement, and policy innovation. Stimson’s Brian Eyler, Courtney Weatherby, and Regan Kwan managed the Tracker design, data collection, and implementation along with assistance from many others listed on our Partners page. David Solimini, Lillian Mercho, and Caitlin Goodman from the Stimson Center’s Communications team built the Tracker’s webpages, and the team at Blue Raster managed the design and customization of the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker Dashboard and assisted with data cleaning and integration.

Where do you get your data?

The Mekong Infrastructure Tracker is open, and so the vast majority of our data comes from publicly available documents or websites from government agencies, project profiles by private companies involved with the project, multinational development banks, trusted research institutions and non-government organizations, as well as news media. Details on the collection and verification process can be found on our Methodology page. The initial data source and other references are specified for individual data points.

How do I know the data is reliable?

Data in the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker is collected in a transparent and systematic way that allows you to trace when it was updated and from where information comes. This is detailed on our Methodology page. We recognize that there are gaps in our data set, and emphasize that the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker is a living platform. Sensitive information such as financial details is often not publicly accessible, and projects still under development often evolve significantly over time. New data and updates will only be reflected once they are made public and can be verified according to the processes above. This may leave some gaps, but allows the team to be confident that data included in the data set is trustworthy.

How often do you update the data?

Project level data for the Power Generation and Roads, Rails, & Waterways data sets is updated on at least a quarterly basis. Individual data points have a category indicating when they were last updated. Layers are largely drawn from outside data sets and are reviewed periodically to ensure they are up-to-date.

What can I do if I identify incorrect, out of date, or missing data points?

If you see data that is incorrect, out of date, or missing, please inform us by submitting a data update! For individual data points, this can be done directly through the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker Dashboard which has a Submit Data survey built in. o If you are interested in contributing multiple data points, a new data set, a layer, or in exploring ways to partner with us as we work to expand the Tracker’s scope in the future, please get in touch with Regan Kwan at [email protected].

What should I do if I find a bug or problem with the apps?

If you find a bug or a problem with the app, please let us know at [email protected] so that we can fix it.

I have produced something using the Tracker. How do I submit it to you for publication and sharing?

Please email our team at [email protected] to share your charts, infographics, articles, and other outputs! We are not able to publish every item that uses or references the Tracker, but if your piece contributes something new to the discussion about infrastructure development in the region we would like to see it and may highlight some items on the site.

Who do I contact with questions or interest in engaging?

Please reach out to Regan Kwan at [email protected].

What is under development? Will there be new apps?

The Mekong Infrastructure Tracker is a living platform and will be adding new applications, resources, and analytical outputs in the future. Please get in touch with Regan Kwan at [email protected] if you have specific suggestions or questions.

How can I share ideas for new Tracker tools and resources?

Please reach out to Regan Kwan at [email protected].

What is USAID Mekong Safeguards?

USAID Mekong Safeguards is a five-year program (2018–2023) that supports policymakers, government regulators, major financiers, developers, and contractors with information and tools to foster consistent application of environmental, social, and governance standards, particularly for power generation and transportation. USAID Mekong Safeguards helps operationalize the vision of sustainable infrastructure development that lower Mekong countries have put forward in their respective national green-growth strategies and regional platforms. The consortium implementing USAID Mekong Safeguards includes the Stimson Center and is led by the Asia Foundation. For more information, see the activity homepage.

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