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SciDev.Net has a unique mission to bring news and analysis about the research and development communities together, highlighting where they overlap and how they can work hand-in-hand in tackling poverty and improving wellbeing in developing countries. As such, our coverage tracks scientific developments in international aid, and here we highlight some of the key aid news stories from 2013. From measuring the impact of aid and showing its worth, through changing aid practices to boost effectiveness, to filling data gaps and including local knowledge, here are some of the year’s top developments in science and aid.

Which SciDev.Net articles do you find the most useful? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @scidevnet using #bestof2013

Common aid standards and certification stir debate
A drive to create a common set of standards and a certification scheme for humanitarian organisations has received a mixed welcome.

Africa Science Meeting
Aid project accountability 'can transform impact'
Ensuring the accountability of aid projects can make them more sustainable and improve their quality, says a report.

Changing how food aid is allocated ‘may save more lives’
More children's lives could be saved if emergency food is distributed using alternative metrics to those recommended, suggests a paper.

Software helps automate, speed-up disaster aid
Humanitarian agencies are moving from paper to digital files in organising disaster relief with software solutions.

Aid agencies should ‘go local’ when sourcing materials
Buying aid supplies in-country can slash costs by 40 per cent, and boost local livelihoods, say experts.

Endangered foxes
Study reveals where conservation aid is most needed
A statistical model may help target aid for conservation more effectively to help curb biodiversity losses.

Aid can make lives better, project concludes
The evidence is in — aid can work, and finding out why it sometimes fails is key to its future.

Data gaps in aid impact must be filled, urges review
Without new methods of assessing the impact of development aid on maternal health, its influence will remain unclear, says a review.

Rapid funding tool opens to aid humanitarian research
The mechanism will pre-approve research proposals, allowing quick deployment of scientists to study crises.

Policymakers urged to include local knowledge in aid projects
Development projects based solely on Western and 'hard' science can overlook local expertise and needs, a meeting has heard.

View more aid stories
What were your favourite aid stories this year? 

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