Out From Behind This Mask

Adam Green - July 27, 2017 in Art & Illustrations, Culture & History, death, death masks, Featured Articles, laurence hutton, laurence hutton collection, masks, memorial, Philosophy, plaster, punctum, roland barthes, walt whitman

A Barthesian bristle and the curious power of Walt Whitman’s posthumous eyelids — D. Graham Burnett on meditations conjured by a visit to the death masks of the Laurence Hutton Collection.

Open Data for Tax Justice design sprint: building a pilot database of public country-by-country reporting

Stephen Abbott Pugh - July 27, 2017 in Open Knowledge

Tax justice advocates, global campaigners and open data specialists came together this week from across the world to work with Open Knowledge International on the first stages of creating a pilot country-by-country reporting database. Such a database may enable to understand the activities of multinational corporations and uncover potential tax avoidance schemes.  This design sprint event was part of our Open Data for Tax Justice project to create a global network of people and organisations using open data to improve advocacy, journalism and public policy around tax justice in line with our mission to empower civil society organisations to use open data to improve people’s lives. In this post my colleague Serah Rono and I share our experiences and learnings from the sprint.    What is country-by-country reporting?

Image: Financial Transparency Coalition

Country-by-country reporting (CBCR) is a transparency mechanism which requires multinational corporations to publish information about their economic activities in all of the countries where they operate. This includes information on the taxes they pay, the number of people they employ and the profits they report. in order  Publishing this information canto bring to light structures or techniques multinational corporationsthey might be using to avoid paying tax in certain jurisdictions by shifting their profits or activities elsewhere.

In February 2017, Open Knowledge International published a white paper co-authored by Alex Cobham, Jonathan Gray and Richard Murphy which examined the prospects for creating a global public database on the tax contributions and economic activities of multinational companies as measured by CBCR. The authors found that such a public database was possible and concluded that a pilot database could be created by bringing together the best existing source of public CBCR information – disclosures made by European Union banking institutions in line with the Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV) passed in 2013.  The aim of our design sprint was to take the first steps towards the creation of this pilot database.   What did we achieve?

From left to right: Tim Davies (Open Data Services), Jonathan Gray (University of Bath/Public Data Lab), Tommaso Faccio (University of Nottingham/BEPS Monitoring Group), Oliver Pearce (Oxfam GB), Elena Gaita (Transparency International EU), Dorcas Mensah (University of Edinburgh/Tax Justice Network – Africa) and Serah Rono (Open Knowledge International). Photo: Stephen Abbott Pugh

A design sprint is intended to be a short and sharp process bringing together a multidisciplinary team in order to quickly prototype and iterate on a technical product.

On Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th July 2017, Open Knowledge International convened a team of tax justice, advocacy, research and open data experts at Friends House in London to work alongside developers and a developer advocate from our product team. This followed three days of pre-sprint planning and work on the part of our developers. All the outputs of this event are public on Google Drive, Github and hackmd.io. To understand more from those who had knowledge of trying to find and understand CRD IV data, we heard expert presentations from George Turner of Tax Justice Network on the scale of international tax avoidance, Jason Braganza of Tax Justice Network – Africa and Financial Transparency Coalition on why developing countries need public CBCR (see report for more details) and Oliver Pearce of Oxfam Great Britain on the lessons learned from using CRD IV data for the Opening the vaults and Following the money reports. These were followed by a presentation from Adam Kariv and Vitor Baptista of Open Knowledge International on how they would be reusing open-source tech products developed for our Open Spending and OpenTrials projects to help with Open Data for Tax Justice. Next we discussed the problems and challenges the attendees had experienced when trying to access or use public CBCR information before proposing solutions to these issues. This lead into a conversation about the precise questions and hypotheses which attendees would like to be able to answer using either CRD IV data or public CBCR data more generally.

From left to right: Georgiana Bere (Open Knowledge International), Adam Kariv (Open Knowledge International), Vitor Baptista (Open Knowledge International).

As quickly as possible, the Open Knowledge International team wanted to give attendees the knowledge and tools they needed to be able to answer these questions. So our developers Georgiana Bere and Vitor Baptista demonstrated how anyone could take unstructured CRD IV information from tables published in the PDF version of banks’ annual reports and follow a process set out on the Github repo for the pilot database to contribute this data into a pipeline created by the Open Knowledge International team. Datapackage-pipelines is a framework – developed as part of the Frictionless Data toolchain – for defining data processing steps to generate self-describing Data Packages. Once attendees had contributed data into the pipeline via Github issues,  Vitor demonstrated how to write queries against this data using Redash in order to get answers to the questions they had posed earlier in the day.   Storytelling with CRD IV data Evidence-based, data-driven storytelling is an increasingly important mechanism used to inform and empower audiences, and encourage them to take action and push for positive change in the communities they live in. So our sprint focus on day two shifted to researching and drafting thematic stories using this data. Discussions around data quality are commonplace in working with open data. George Turner and Oliver Pearce noticed a recurring issue in the available data: the use of hyphens to denote both nil and unrecorded values. The two spent part of the day thinking about ways to highlight the issue and guidelines that can help overcome this challenge so as to avoid incorrect interpretations. Open data from a single source often has gaps so combining it with data from additional sources often helps with verification and to build a stronger narrative around it. In light of this, Elena Gaita, Dorcas Mensa and Jason Braganza narrowed their focus to examine a single organisation to see whether or not this bank changed its policy towards using tax havens following a 2012 investigative exposé by a British newspaper. They achieved this by comparing data from the investigation with the bank’s 2014 CRD IV disclosures. In the coming days, they hope to publish a blogpost detailing their findings on the extent to which the new transparency requirements have changed the bank’s tax behaviour.  

Visual network showing relation between top 50 banks and financial institutions who comply with Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV) and countries in which they report profits. Image: Public Data Lab

To complement these story ideas, we explored visualisation tools which could help draw insights and revelations from the assembled CRD IV data. Visualisations often help to draw attention to aspects of the data that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Oliver Pearce and George Turner studied the exploratory visual network of CRD IV data for the EU’s top 50 banks created by our friends at Density Design and the Public Data Lab (see screengrab above) to learn where banks were recording most profits and losses. Pearce and Turner quickly realised that one bank in particular recorded losses in all but one of its jurisdictions. In just a few minutes, the finding from this visual network sparked their interest and encouraged them to ask more questions. Was the lone profit-recording jurisdiction a tax haven? How did other banks operating in the same jurisdiction fare on the profit/loss scale in the same period? We look forward to reading their findings as soon as they are published.   What happens next? The Open Data for Tax Justice network team are now exploring opportunities for collaborations to collect and process all available CRD IV data via the pipeline and tools developed during our sprint. We are also examining options to resolve some of the data challenges experienced during the sprint like the perceived lack of an established codelist of tax jurisdictions and are searching for a standard exchange rate source which could be used across all recorded payments data. In light of the European Union Parliament’s recent vote in favour of requiring all large multinational corporations to publish public CBCR information as open data, we will be working with advocacy partners to join the ongoing discussion about the “common template” and “open data format” for future public CBCR disclosures which will be mandated by the EU. Having identified extractives industry data as another potential source of public CBCR to connect to our future database, we are also heartened to see the ongoing project between the Natural Resource Governance Institute and Publish What You Pay Canada so will liaise further with the team working on extracting data from these new disclosures. Please email contact@datafortaxjustice.net if you’d like to be added to the project mailing list or want to join the Open Data for Tax Justice network. You can also follow the #OD4TJ hashtag on Twitter for updates.   Thanks to our partners at Open Data for Development, Tax Justice Network, Financial Transparency Coalition and Public Data Lab for the funding and support which made this design sprint possible.               

Opendata.ch/2017: Videos sind online!

murielstaub - July 27, 2017 in Allgemein, Daten, event, Luzern, National

 
 

Über 20 Speaker, über 200 Teilnehmende und jede Menge spannende Gespräche – das war die Opendata.ch/2017! Für all diejenigen, die nochmals in die Inhalte eintauchen möchten oder die Konferenz verpasst haben, stehen nun die Video-Aufnahmen zur Verfügung. Hier geht’s zur Playlist.

Destination Earth (1956)

Adam Green - July 26, 2017 in capitalism, Cold War, communism, free market, John Sutherland Studios, mars, martians, oil, petroleum

Great little promotional cartoon from the height of the Cold War championing not only the wonders of oil but also free-market capitalism. Features the overthrow of the suspiciously Stalin-like leader of Mars named Ogg.

The Heart of Man; Either a Temple of God, or a Habitation of Satan; Represented in Ten Emblematical Figures (1851)

Adam Green - July 25, 2017 in christian soul, christianity, emblems, heart of man

Ten illustrations which, in a wonderful marriage of word and image, plot out the life of the Christian soul.

Gastos Abertos realiza primeira aula do curso online de capacitação sobre dados abertos

Elza Maria Albuquerque - July 24, 2017 in Destaque, Gastos Abertos

    Agora você pode conferir a primeira aula do curso de Capacitação Gastos Abertos! Ela aconteceu na quarta-feira (19/07), via Facebook Live e YouTube, com os seguintes temas: A Lei de Acesso à Informação e suas premissas; O que são formatos abertos; O que é o formato CSV e como utilizá-lo. O objetivo das três aulas é capacitar, principalmente técnicos do poder público, em relação ao controle social, leis de transparência e acesso à informação, dados abertos, como disponibilizá-los e também como utilizar as ferramentas já criadas pela Open Knowledge Internacional. Ao vivo, no YouTube, tivemos aproximadamente 50 pessoas assistindo. Os responsáveis pela capacitação são Lucas Ansei, desenvolvedor de software pelo AppCívico e um dos responsáveis pelo projeto Gastos Abertos, e Thiago Rondon, coordenador do projeto Gastos Abertos, criador do AppCivico e conselheiro da Open Knowledge Brasil. Lucas foi quem facilitou a primeira aula. “A primeira aula, por se tratar de uma introdução dos conceitos, acabou sendo mais curta. Desenvolvemos mais a parte de premissas da LAI e de formatos abertos”, disse Lucas Ansei. Confira, abaixo, o vídeo da primeira aula do curso de Capacitação do Gastos Abertos:

Próximas aulas

AULA 2: dia 26/07/2017 às 15:00 GMT -3 Tema: Openspending Next e Para Onde Foi o Meu Dinheiro Vamos explicar as diferenças entre as duas plataformas e especificar como os dados devem ser consolidados e disponibilizados para que eles possam estar no Para Onde Foi o Meu Dinheiro. AULA 3: dia 02/08/2017 às 15:00 GMT -3 Tema: Como fazer upload de CSVs no OpenSpending Next Vamos ensinar a utilizar a plataforma do OpenSpending Next compreendendo mapeamento completo dos CSVs e construção de visualizações. Flattr this!

Updates from Open Knowledge Czech

Michaela Rybičková - July 24, 2017 in network, OKF Czech Republic, Open Data Day

This blog post is part of our summer series featuring updates from local groups across the Open Knowledge Network. This post was submitted by the Czech Republic Open Knowledge team In the Czech Republic, the Open Knowledge local chapter is led by the Otakar Motejl Fund, an NGO focused on government transparency and civic participation. Spring was a very busy time for Czech open data community. We celebrated Open Data Day by bringing together the publishers of government data and their users ranging from businesses, the academia, NGOs etc. A successful hackathon took place in Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic and succeeded in spreading inspiration to two other cities. Expanding the enthusiasm from the capital to other regions is a sign of the maturity and wide spread of the openness movement.

Open Data Day – showcasing and discussing data at Open Data Expo

We celebrated Open Data Day by taking a close look at the state of Czech open data. At our Open Data Expo, 12 public offices opened little stalls with their data. That gave them an opportunity to have a chat with actual or potential data users and get feedback and encouragement for further efforts. Nearly 150 people showed up! We also invited numerous speakers to help us get familiar with new trends in open data: news from the 2016 OGP summit or the practical application of open data. The keynote speech was given by Emma Doyle, the Head of Data Policy for the National Health Service England. She presented UK´s best practice in opening data in the health sector and promoted the potential of open data to help with the quality and efficiency of services, accountability and patient choice. Ms. Doyle also participated in two other roundtables tailored for healthcare experts and activists. The first presentation was on the open data model used by the British healthcare system: participants present included stakeholders from the ministry, hospitals and Parliament. The second was a discussion on the comparisons between Emma´s personal experience from the UK and the practices and experiences of guests from Czech businesses and NGOs. The discussion revealed that the main impediment to the growth of open data in the Czech Republic is not that of a technical know- how. But rather, the willingness of stakeholders to change their mindset and see beyond the possibility of someone misusing data and understand and appreciate the potential of open data for the good of Czech Republic.

BrnoHacks – one weekend and 7 new apps for a better life in the city

Between 26th to 28th May, Brno was the epicentre of the biggest Czech open data Hackathon BrnoHacks. After three successful hackathons in Prague (2014 – 2016), we decided to move to Brno, another city with great open data potential. More than 50 programmers, idea makers, data analysts and urbanists met at the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) to create applications and visualisations to address problems of living in Brno, to show the benefits of open data and to encourage the city of Brno in publishing them.   At the hackathon, seven teams focused on projects based on data from the city, O2 and Kiwi.com. The winning project called BrnoBot is a messenger chatbot prototype which integrates multiple data sources. It helps people to find their way around the city and it provides info about the city. The second best team – Who 8 my taxes – dedicated its time to a project that enriched Brno budget data by adding demographic data from the last census and political affiliation of municipality representatives. Data was also turned into interactive visualisations to illustrate money redistribution, utilisation and efficiency of city departments and municipalities. The third place winner Liberty – open demography describes various repetitive patterns in inhabitant’s movement through various city regions, the demographic structure and use of public space a and relaxation areas. You can read more about the seven teams and their projects here.

Openness spark spreads across the country

One of our biggest achievements is that we inspired various groups to run their own open data hackathons. In May, the City of Ostrava, Impact Hub and Keboola invited open data fans to create a new open data portal. At the beginning of June, the Innovation Centre of Usti Region (ICUK) organised mobility open data hackathon aimed at regional data. The winner of this hackathon was a project of a travel ticket in the form of a chip card that allows gathering detailed data from the city transport and thus helps to improve it. Last, but definitely not the least, in September there is going to be the biggest open data hackathon organised by the public sector in the Czech Republic. Seven public institutions will join forces to show how public open data can be used and linked to each other and we are a proud partner.  Contact Michaela, the Coordinator of the Local Group for more information and follow their activities on twitter: @okfncz

Tο OK Greece αρωγός στο project “Frictionless Data”

Spyridoula Markou - July 22, 2017 in Data Journalism, Featured, Featured @en, Εφαρμογές, Νέα

Το άρθρο που ακολουθεί αποτελεί μεταφρασμένη αναδημοσίευση της συνέντευξης που δόθηκε από το OK Greece στο http://frictionlessdata.io. Το Ίδρυμα Ανοικτής Γνώσης Ελλάδας, το επίσημο Παράρτημα του Open Knowledge International, ιδρύθηκε το 2012 από μία ομάδα ακαδημαϊκών, προγραμματιστών, πολιτών, χάκερ και εκπροσώπων του δημοσίου. Υποστηριζόμαστε από ένα εθνικό δίκτυο εθελοντών, οι περισσότεροι από τους οποίους είναι […]

OKBR apoia a primeira Consulta Cidadã sobre a Confiança no Legislativo

Elza Maria Albuquerque - July 22, 2017 in Destaque, Sociedade

No dia 12 de julho, a Consulta Cidadã 2017 foi lançada no Brasil pela Rede Latino-americana pela Transparência Legislativa (RLTL) com a hashtag #ConsultaCidadã. O objetivo é dar oportunidade para pessoas de diferentes países latino-americanos expressarem como percebem o trabalho realizado pelos Congressos em grande parte da região. A consulta vai estar disponível durante as próximas semanas no endereço http://bit.ly/consultacidada. Os resultados da consulta vão ser fundamentais na identificação de soluções conjuntas e abrangentes para reforçar a atuação da sociedade civil por um legislativo mais transparente, responsivo e eficiente.

Contexto

Em 2015, o Latinobarómetro indicou que 70% dos habitantes não se sentem representados pelos Congressos de seus países. Com base nesse contexto de grave crise de legitimidade do legislativo, a Rede lança a Consulta Cidadã sobre a Confiança no Legislativo por meio das plataformas de organizações em 14 países para compreender a lacuna que hoje afasta os congressos dos cidadãos e cidadãs na América Latina. A Rede Latino-americana pela Transparência Legislativa é a primeira aliança de organizações da sociedade civil da América Latina e Caribe para a promoção políticas de transparência, participação cidadã e prestação de contas em matérias legislativas. As seguintes organizações apoiam a consulta no Brasil: Fundação Cidadania Inteligente, Agenda Pública, LabHacker, Cidade Democrática, Open Knowledge Brasil, Operação Serenata de Amor, ITS, Fast Food da Política, Update Politics, Vote LGBT e #Me Representa.   Flattr this!

OKBR apoia a primeira Consulta Cidadã sobre a Confiança no Legislativo

Elza Maria Albuquerque - July 22, 2017 in Destaque, Sociedade

No dia 12 de julho, a Consulta Cidadã 2017 foi lançada no Brasil pela Rede Latino-americana pela Transparência Legislativa (RLTL) com a hashtag #ConsultaCidadã. O objetivo é dar oportunidade para pessoas de diferentes países latino-americanos expressarem como percebem o trabalho realizado pelos Congressos em grande parte da região. A consulta vai estar disponível durante as próximas semanas no endereço http://bit.ly/consultacidada. Os resultados da consulta vão ser fundamentais na identificação de soluções conjuntas e abrangentes para reforçar a atuação da sociedade civil por um legislativo mais transparente, responsivo e eficiente.

Contexto

Em 2015, o Latinobarómetro indicou que 70% dos habitantes não se sentem representados pelos Congressos de seus países. Com base nesse contexto de grave crise de legitimidade do legislativo, a Rede lança a Consulta Cidadã sobre a Confiança no Legislativo por meio das plataformas de organizações em 14 países para compreender a lacuna que hoje afasta os congressos dos cidadãos e cidadãs na América Latina. A Rede Latino-americana pela Transparência Legislativa é a primeira aliança de organizações da sociedade civil da América Latina e Caribe para a promoção políticas de transparência, participação cidadã e prestação de contas em matérias legislativas. As seguintes organizações apoiam a consulta no Brasil: Fundação Cidadania Inteligente, Agenda Pública, LabHacker, Cidade Democrática, Open Knowledge Brasil, Operação Serenata de Amor, ITS, Fast Food da Política, Update Politics, Vote LGBT e #Me Representa.   Flattr this!