Geography Glossary

Geographies define where activities take place and results are achieved. All DevResults indicator data must be associated with a geography.

In this article:

What Are Geographies?

DevResults defines geographies in two ways:

  • Locations (points)
  • Administrative Divisions (areas or polygons)


In DevResults, Locations refer to specific point locations on a map with GPS coordinates. These might be specific facilities (e.g. schools, clinics, hospitals, sensors, etc.) or individual villages, towns, cities.

  • If you can provide exact GPS coordinates or find a location on Google Maps, you can add it to DevResults.
  • Site users with appropriate privileges can add new locations at any time, and can then assign Activities to report on these locations.
  • "Location or facility" always appears as the most granular, lowest-level option for an Indicator's Reporting Level.

Administrative Divisions

In DevResults, Administrative Divisions refer to areas on a map, represented by shapes or polygons. These generally include the national borders of the country/countries for your site, and may include several additional layers of smaller, nested administrative divisions within a country (such as districts, provinces, departments, municipalities, etc.).

  • By default, we use publicly available KML files from the Database of Global Administrative Areas, more commonly known as GADM, to add Administrative Divisions to your site. 
  • Site users cannot upload or change Administrative Divisions through their site; DevResults staff must complete this action.
  • We can rename existing shapes from GADM if the spelling is incorrect, but if there is a problem with the shapes or boundaries themselves, you will need to send the appropriate KML file with the preferred boundaries to While every country is different, you can often obtain geographic data from national or local government agencies, open data portals, or various other searchable geo-databases and resources online. If you are unsure what type of file to look for, be sure to read about KML files.
  • Users with appropriate privileges can view the Administrative Divisions currently present in your site by going to Administration->Administrative Divisions.
  • The specific titles/names for these Administrative Divisions (i.e. districts, provinces, etc.) will vary based on your site's configuration, but these various divisions are always available as options for an Indicator's Reporting Level.

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How Are Geographies Used?

DevResults uses geographies in two ways:

  1. Indicators: Every indicator is assigned a Reporting Level. This indicates  "where" a particular result has been achieved as defined by the Indicator's Reporting Level. You can think of Reporting Levels as "Geographic Disaggregations," similar in form and function to Disaggregations; they describe how results data is broken down into various categories. Disaggregation Categories, therefore, are analogous to individual administrative divisions (i.e. districts, provinces, etc.).
  2. Activities: All activities must be mapped to geographies that correspond to the Reporting Levels of mapped indicators. For example, if Activity A reports on Indicator 1, and Indicator 1 is set to the "District" Reporting Level, Activity A must be mapped to at least one specific district. Activities can be mapped to as many geographies as needed on multiple Reporting Levels; this allows for a single activity to report data at multiple levels, for instance, district-level and country-level indicators.

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How Do I Map Other Geographic Data?

In addition to those two types of geographies, you can also add KML map layers to your site to provide additional contextual data to a map of your activities. These overlays do not replace Administrative Divisions and they cannot be used as Indicator Reporting Levels or assigned to Activities for reporting purposes. They simply provide an additional layer to view on dashboard map widgets.

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