Reconnecting Asia’s database tracks seven types of infrastructure projects–roads, railways, seaports, intermodal facilities, power plants, transmission, and pipelines–located across the supercontinent of Eurasia and active between 2006 and 2021.
Data collection and processing occurred in three phases. First, project information was collected from a set of open primary sources, in both English and non-English languages, and relevant actors were identified. These sources include, for example, national government agencies of the host country, regional development banks, and project contracts, as well as some partner organizations including Fitch Solutions, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Power Explorer, and GlobalData. Please see the glossary for a list of qualified primary sources by type, a definition of each source type, and the information they provide for inclusion in the database.
Second, data was verified and de-conflicted. The actor providing the most comprehensive and recent information was treated as the most authoritative. In cases of conflicting information, our researchers deferred first to information provided by the sources of funds, followed by information from implementing agencies, and, last, information from all other sources. Decisions on the reliability of sources in the third category are made based on the judgment of the research team.
Finally, if data was sufficient, projects were geotagged using satellite imagery and project documentation. At minimum, this required a documented reference to the project’s endpoints, which are often town centers (for roads) or train stations (for railways). If this was the only information available, a straight line was drawn between the endpoints. If construction was reflected on the satellite imagery that corresponds to the path between the endpoints, or the project description indicated in documentation, the straight path was modified accordingly.
Throughout this process, there were a number of practical challenges. Every day, new projects are announced, while others are delayed, modified, completed, or cancelled. There are many actors and different levels of transparency. There are few centralized repositories for project documentation. Projects vary in financing structures, and documents—especially for projects funded with domestic resources—are often written in local languages.
Acknowledging these realities, the dataset seeks to provide the maximum amount of information available, while maintaining strict guidelines for sourcing and verification. However, it remains non-exhaustive. To ask questions or share corrections, please contact Recon@csis.org.