Government of Canada

Global Affairs Canada

Help and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What is the International Development Project Browser?
  2. What does it contain?
  3. How do I use it?
  4. What do "maximum contribution", "status", etc. mean?
  5. How to keep French accents when opening a CSV project data set in Excel?

A star (*) appears beside project profiles that have been published or modified in the International Development Project Browser in the last two weeks.


1. What is the International Development Project Browser?

Currently (August 2015), the Browser contains the profiles of over 3,300 projects funded by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) and the former Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Each profile includes a short description and basic, up-to-date project information. Projects are listed by country, partner, sector, status, and number, and a keyword search tool allows for advanced searches.


2. Its content

Each profile contains the project title; reference number; DFATD's or CIDA’s maximum contribution in Canadian dollars; names of the organisation responsible for executing the project; status; start and end date; name of the country or countries where the project is executed and the sector(s) concerned. This is followed by a brief project description, expected results and results achieved.

If available, some projects show additional information such as:

  • links to executing agencies’ or partner’s websites,
  • links to proactive disclosure reports for contracts over $10,000,
  • links to proactive disclosure reports for grants and contributions over $25,000, other project related links.


3. How do I use the International Development Project Browser?

You may choose one of four options:

  1. Explore the Browser’s content by using pre-established lists.
    The general lists include all the published projects, whereas the specific lists include those pertaining to a particular theme.
    Just click on one of the choices (country, partner, sector, status, number) available in the left-side menu as well as on the main page. The corresponding list will be displayed. Click on the subject that interests you to view the corresponding project list. You may then click a project title to access its profile.
  2. Use the basic search function.
    Just select one or more countries from the drop-down list provided, and/or type in one or more keywords of your choice. If any project profiles contain these keywords, a list of projects will be displayed.
  3. Use the advanced search function.
    This function gives users the drop-down list of countries, sectors and priorities. Each project is coded by sector. Using the advanced search function, you can find projects based on the codes that project officers have assigned. You can also select one or more partners or add keywords to refine your search. As with any search system, the more specific the query, the fewer projects are displayed. In other words, the more search criteria you select, the shorter the project list you obtain.
  4. Download project information through DFATD's Open Data website.
    Users can download research-friendly data sets in csv or xml format through the Open Data website. These data sets contain information about projects that are published in the Browser. There are three ways of downloading project open data: download a full data set, download a filtered data set, or download information on individual project profiles. For more information on project open data, please see the Project Browser Data Set page.


4. Fields and definitions

Project number — The first seven digits indicate a project, with the last three digits indicating a sub-project number. These project numbers also appear in the data sent to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to report on disbursements.

Date modified — This date stamp indicates the day on which the project profile was published or modified. Modifications may include substantive changes to the data, such as status or budget updates, or cosmetic changes, such as correction of grammar errors in text fields.

Title — The project title as it appears in the Browser may not be exactly the same as it appeared in announcements or in the Proactive Disclosure reports. In the case of multi-donor projects, the title represents DFATD's or CIDA's contribution only and is often different from the title used by all donors in the recipient country.

Description — The project description usually describes the ultimate outcome, intermediate outcomes, and activities in plain language. If the project is part of a larger initiative, that initiative is often described as well. Sometimes the description lists multiple partners; our information systems allow only one to be coded in the system.

Expected Results — The information summarized here represents results that are expected to be achieved by the end of the project (the primary intermediate expected outcomes and immediate expected outcomes). Information is usually only available for projects approved after October 15, 2011.

Progress and Results Achieved — This information highlights the project’s accomplishments and is not an exhaustive report. Unless otherwise stated, the results are cumulative and based on the most current reports available as of the date indicated; and results are reported for the project as a whole, not just the DFATD/CIDA contribution. It is normal for many development projects not to have results to report within the first two years of activities. Because this field is a new feature, most older projects (i.e. already finished in previous years and the files now closed) will not show results achieved on the web at this time.

Status — Projects progress through a life cycle of tentative, planning, operational, terminating, and closed. Project data is only published after the project has been approved and is in operational status. Projects are usually moved into terminating status once activities have been completed and are changed to closed status once the final report has been accepted. Profiles are normally removed from the Browser after they have been posted in closed status for one year. Occasionally they are removed while the project is in terminating status if there has been a prolonged administrative delay in closing the project.

Start — End — The start and end dates are displayed in the following format: YYYY-MM-DD. The start date generally represents the date on which project activities begin. The end date represents the end of project activities by the partner or executing agency.

Country — This field indicates where the project is carried out. The location may be a country, territory, or region. A project may be carried out in more than one location. If so, the project profile indicates an estimated percentage of project activities in each location. DFATD's country pages contain more information on the Department's activities in each country. Visit Where we work in International Development to view these pages.

Executing Agency - Partner — The executing agency-partner can be a private firm, a non-governmental organization, an educational institution, an association, an institute, a government department, or any other individual or organization selected to implement the project or one of its components. "Information not available" may appear in the Executing agency-partner field when, for example, a project is operational but does not yet have an official executing agency.

For some executing agencies or partners, a link to its website is available from the project profile. In some cases however, the agency’s or partner’s website might be available in English or French only.

On the “Advanced Search” page, individual partner names may appear more than once in the drop-down list. This is due to errors made in the past in assigning more than one code to the same partner. Although these errors have generally been corrected in our systems, some of the older projects that used duplicate codes are still published in the Browser, accounting for the duplication of the names in the list.

Please note that only one executing agency-partner can be entered in this field in our information systems; if there are multiple partners in the project, they are usually listed in the description. Consequently, if you are using the executing agency-partner filter to generate a data set, the set will only contain those projects where the vendor chosen is the primary partner entered in this field.

Sectors of focus — These projects are categorized under eight broad sector of focus headings: democratic governance, improving health, private sector development, strengthening basic education, environment, emergency assistance, peace and security, and other.

Sectors — These are tertiary-level DAC sector codes. The sector coding table for projects is based on the OECD sector code table, allowing all donors to compare and coordinate their projects.

Maximum DFATD/CIDA Contribution — The value indicated in Canadian dollars corresponds to the maximum amount approved by DFATD or the former CIDA for the project. When the project moves to closed status, the final amount of the contribution is posted. This value could be less than the maximum amount initially approved. If the financial agreement for the project was signed on June 26, 2013 or later, this field will be "Maximum DFATD contribution". If the financial agreement for the project was signed before June 26, 2013, the field will be "Maximum CIDA contribution".

    Note 1: The amount indicated does not automatically correspond to the amount in the contractual agreement with the organization responsible for executing the project because multiple agreements may have been signed for a single project or the amount approved may include monitoring and evaluation components. Also, DFATD's/CIDA's contribution may represent only a portion of the project's total value, especially if other donors, the recipient country, or the Canadian partner invest equity in the project.

    Note 2: The amounts listed in the Browser and in the DAC-OECD data for any given year will usually be different. The Browser contribution amount reflects a planned, or partially disbursed, multi-year budget in Canadian dollars, as currently entered in DFATD's information systems, whereas the DAC-OECD contribution amount is in US dollars per calendar year, for past years, and includes contributions from other Canadian sources, not just DFATD or CIDA.

    Note 3: The amounts listed in the Browser may not always match amounts announced. In some cases, the Browser budget data may appear to indicate a lesser amount than that announced because the project has been split into sub-projects, the profiles of which have yet to be published. In other cases, the Browser data may appear to indicate an amount greater than that announced because the announcement refers only to new funding added to an existing project or because administrative/evaluation funds have not been included in the announced amount.

Contracts, Grants and Contributions — This section displays links to related entries in proactive disclosure reports for contracts over $10,000 (including contract amendments), and grants and contributions over $25,000.


5. How to keep French accents when opening a CSV project data set in Excel?

Opening a csv file in Microsoft Excel may convert French accents into special characters. To conserve the accents follow these steps:

  1. Chose the “Save” option while downloading the data set from the Project Open Data website and save the file on your local drive.
  2. Open Microsoft Excel and create a new workbook.
  3. From the “Data” menu, select “Get External Data”, then “Import Data”.
  4. In the “Select Data Source” window, find your csv file in the location where you previously saved it, select it, and click on “Open”.
  5. In the “Text Import Wizard - Step 1 of 3” window, select the following options:
    (a) original data type: "Delimited",
    (b) file origin: “65001 : Unicode (UTF-8)”, and
    (c) click “Next”.
  6. In the “Text Import Wizard - Step 2 of 3” window, select “Comma” as a delimiter and click on “Next”.
  7. In the “Text Import Wizard - Step 3 of 3” window, click on “Finish”.
  8. From the “Import Data” window, click on “Ok”.

You can now manipulate the csv file as needed. The French accents should appear properly.