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Join us for a Data Expedition on water in Dar es Salaam on June 6th

- June 3, 2014 in Events, Partnership for Open Data

A Data Expedition in Dar es Salaam coming up

School of Data and Code for Africa are stopping by Dar es Salaam in Tanzania this week – to celebrate this we’ll host a Data Expedition on Data from the Water Ministry and other public data we can surface in Tanzania on: Friday June 6th from 9:30 to 16:00 at BUNI Hub Join the team and register for free here. David from Code for Africa and Ketty and Michael from School of Data are in Tanzania this week, mainly to assist the Ministry of Water and the National Bureau of Statistics. To round off the week they will guide a Data Expedition using some of the Data they have worked with. Data Expeditions are an experimental training concept developed by the School of Data to help you start working with data. You will explore different aspects of the data in a small team and learn from each other as well as our trainers in how to best deal with it. Join us at: BUNI Hub
Sayansi-building
Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road, Kijitonyama
P.O. Box 4302
Dar es Salaam Food and drinks will be provided for. The event is generously hosted by BUNI hub under the TANZICT Project, the World Bank and the Partnership for Open Data. We’ll start out at 10am and work until around 4pm. A snack will be provided for lunch. flattr this!

Help us keep the EU farm subsidies open and accessible

- February 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

This is a post by Stefan Wehrmeyer and Anders Pedersen. Last year OpenSpending engaged in a partnership with FarmSubsidy.org to publish the data on payments for recipients of EU farm subsidies, officially known as the EU Common Agricultural Policy. EUR 50 bn. a year are paid in farm subsidies Most of the farm subsidies are […]

Open up your city’s finances on Open Data Day!

- February 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

Open Data Day is coming up on February 22nd with events happening in cities across the world. Are you interested in the recent budget passed in your city council or curious about the expenditures of your local school board? Then be sure to get involved and make use of the OpenSpending platform and community at […]

Mapping company network in the Nigerian extractive industry

- December 23, 2013 in Data Expeditions

On December 7 data wranglers, maptivists and arm chair researchers got together for an online Data Expedition to analyse the Nigerian extractive industry in a collaboration between School of Data, African Media Initiative and OpenOil. More than 30 participants checked into the Unhangout, took part in one of the three teams and joined trainings on mapping. session wherefrom presentations and trainings where conducted.
Below you will find some of the results from the amazing work that the teams pulled off on the day and during the following days to unlock data from the explored corners of pipelines and company registrations within the oil contractors in Nigeria.

Investigating the corporate networks in Nigeria’s oil industry

A team of dedicated researchers collected data on more than 100 companies within the corporate supply chain of the oil industry contributing to a Gephi network visualisation (image below). The network analysis shows how companies in the extractives sector are connected based on contracts and ownership and thanks to the team the network expanded substantially during the expedition leaving a model for future research. Gephi-oil-network In another company analysis project Khadija Sharife, an investigative journalist from African Media Initiative, collected a list of oil rigs operating off-shore in Nigeria.

Mapping the pipelines and other parts of the oil infrastructure

Another team headed up an exercise to map essential elements of the oil infrastructure in 12 of the highest producing concession areas operated by Big Oil. Participants traced water basins located near oil drills, pipelines and other items which could be identified from satellite imagery. The map below below shows the annotations completed during the expedition. View Nigeria Onshore Concessions – First Round in a larger map

Analysing the revenues from oil

The third team conducted an analysis of the government revenues from the oil industry and its impact on the Nigerian budget. Participants started out by reviewing the complex revenue flows, oil terminology and revenue data available from the Nigeria country report to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. As part of the work on revenue analysis Heather Leson headed up some data collection of the Canadian extractive industry and its interests in Nigeria. The team extracted data on Nigeria’s oil and gas revenues from 2009-2011 from the 2012 NEITI report and ended up with this treemap. You can find all the their notes in this team scratch pad. flattr this!

Launching Spending Stories: How much is it really?

- November 21, 2013 in Data Journalism, Featured, Open Spending, Releases

spendingstories Spending Stories is a new way to put spending figures in their proper perspective. Developed by the Open Knowledge Foundation and Journalism++ with funding from the Knight Foundation, Spending Stories is an app that helps citizens and journalists understand and compare amounts in stories from the news. When we hear that the UK’s school meals programme costs £6 million, what does that really mean? It means, for one thing, that it costs about a fifth of the annual spending on the monarchy. Spending Stories draws out comparisons between amounts of money, giving users a context in which to understand how money is being spent across society while referencing the original news stories. Users can enter a figure into Spending Stories and get a scale visualisation showing how it compares with spending stories from the app’s database. £700,000: scale visualisation The app displays the big picture, and users can then click through to a card visualisation that shows how the amount relates to specific stories. £700,000: card visualisation Users can filter stories to only show amounts that relate to the user’s interests, for example aid or energy. Filtering stories If users find news stories of interest, they can contribute these to the database in three easy steps and share them. Contribute new data Due to the good availability of UK spending data in OpenSpending, this first release of Spending Stories focuses on the UK. Spending Stories is, however, an open source project and can easily be forked and translated into other languages. We hope to help Spending Stories sites launch on their own and expand with new features and local news stories. At launch, we are already in touch with Open Knowledge Foundation Japan about the potential deployment of Spending Stories in Japanese. If you would like to know more about the options for setting up a local Spending Stories site, get in touch.

Data Expedition: Investigate the Extractive Industries of Nigeria

- November 15, 2013 in School of Data, Transparency

20131022-DSC_3409   Who operates the often poisonous wells in the Niger Delta? How does the money flow between the contractors running the oil fields and the government? Join us for an online Data Expedition to Investigate the Extractive Industries of Nigeria December 7, Noon-18:00 CET / Lagos. Register for free

The problem: Companies hide in plain sight

Data on the extractives industry is increasingly going public, from EITI‘s information about money flows from companies to governments to the UK’s decision to make its register of the beneficial owners of private companies public in the future. As more information about the oil, gas and mining industries makes it into the public domain, more people living in resource-rich countries have the potential to benefit. Information transparency can lead to greater public scrutiny of these industries that affect so many lives. Databases such as OpenCorporates are rapidly expanding and making companies involved in extractives and other industries easier to trace. Meanwhile, other data published in local media or tucked away in companies’ annual reports has seemingly been hiding in plain sight for years.

What are we going to do?

We want to begin cracking this data open and analysing it to facilitate investigations by journalists, organisations, activists and governments who all need to know how extractives impact people’s lives. In collaboration with OpenOil, School of Data will bring together those with an interest in learning to work with data to help tackle some of the biggest issues in the extractive industries today, with a focus on Nigeria. The Data Expedition will complement our recently launched Follow the Money network, which pushes for the transparency needed to help citizens around the world use information about public money to hold decision-makers to account.

What will you learn?

  • Network analysis: Investigate the corporate supply chain in Nigeria’s oil industry by using networks to see who is connected to whom
  • Corporate research: Cut through generic names like “Shell” and “Exxon” to identify the specific corporate vehicles responsible for activities in places such as the Niger Delta
  • Mapping: Work with maps of geo-coded oil spills, company license areas and other data to draw connections that might not be apparent in text-based media
  • Web-scraping: Find company data and establish leads for other investigations related to the oil industry by scraping the web

Data Expedition, December 7: Investigate the Extractive Industries of Nigeria

- November 15, 2013 in Data Expeditions, Follow the Money

20131022-DSC_3409
  Who operates the often poisonous wells in the Niger Delta? How does the money flow between the contractors running the oil fields and the government? Join us for an online Data Expedition to Investigate the Extractive Industries of Nigeria December 7, Noon-18:00 CET / Lagos. Register for free

The problem: Companies hide in plain sight

Data on the extractives industry is increasingly going public, from EITI‘s information about money flows from companies to governments to the UK’s decision to make its register of the beneficial owners of private companies public in the future. As more information about the oil, gas and mining industries makes it into the public domain, more people living in resource-rich countries have the potential to benefit. Information transparency can lead to greater public scrutiny of these industries that affect so many lives. Databases such as OpenCorporates are rapidly expanding and making companies involved in extractives and other industries easier to trace. Meanwhile, other data published in local media or tucked away in companies’ annual reports has seemingly been hiding in plain sight for years.

What are we going to do?

We want to begin cracking this data open and analysing it to facilitate investigations by journalists, organisations, activists and governments who all need to know how extractives impact people’s lives. In collaboration with OpenOil, School of Data will bring together those with an interest in learning to work with data to help tackle some of the biggest issues in the extractive industries today, with a focus on Nigeria. The Data Expedition will complement our recently launched Follow the Money network, which pushes for the transparency needed to help citizens around the world use information about public money to hold decision-makers to account.

What will you learn?

  • Network analysis: Investigate the corporate supply chain in Nigeria’s oil industry by using networks to see who is connected to whom
  • Corporate research: Cut through generic names like “Shell” and “Exxon” to identify the specific corporate vehicles responsible for activities in places such as the Niger Delta
  • Mapping: Work with maps of geo-coded oil spills, company license areas and other data to draw connections that might not be apparent in text-based media
  • Web-scraping: Find company data and establish leads for other investigations related to the oil industry by scraping the web
To join the Data Expedition register in the form below! flattr this!

Mapping public finances in Nigeria

- November 13, 2013 in Data Expeditions, Data for CSOs

NigeriaBudget

On October 10 School of Data ran a Data Expedition at the OpenGov Hub in Washington DC to explore the public contracts and finances in Nigeria. The Data Expedition was organised in collaboration with BudgIT in Nigeria: an organisation which promotes awareness about Nigeria’s finances through data driven campaigning.

Tracing government revenue flows

data-expedition-with-DFID Participants at the expedition took a closer look at the complex public finances of Nigeria. Revenues from ordinary taxes as well as the extractive industry are channeled through a multiplicity of entities inside the government. Isabel Munilla led a attempt to draft a flow chart of how Nigerian revenues might be administered and steered through the government (image above).

Mapping government contracts

Participants also decided to  investigate how federal Nigerian contracts are distributed by government departments and to which companies they are directed. The procurement data was scraped from PDF-format by BudgIT in Lagos and coded according to budget classifications, while participants at the OpenGov Hub geocoded the contracts based on locations where work and services were planned to be delivered. The geo-coding process resulted in a map of the distribution of government contracts (image at top). The data cleaning and formatting of the procurement data also enabled the team to add it to OpenSpending. It turned out that a sizeable share of the more than 300 contracts were awarded by the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Many of these contracts relate to public school projects in oil rich areas as an outcome of large oil drilling contracts. The Data Expedition was supported by the Department for International Development (UK) and concluded with presentations for members of the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation. The presentations were finally followed up by a discussion about the benefits of open data in development. flattr this!

Investigate the Garment Factories: new Data Expedition

- October 4, 2013 in Events, School of Data

Photo credit: Andy Teo

Photo credit: Andy Teo

In May, the School of Data community got together in a Data Expedition to respond to the Rana Plaza catastrophe. They built a crowdsourced database on garment factories and used it to expose the bad safety standards and non-transparency that contributed to the disaster. Now we are taking the garment factory investigation to the next level with a new online Data Expedition. In collaboration with P2PU and the International Labor Rights Forum, School of Data will bring data explorers from around the globe together online to answer some of the tough questions about the global garment industry. Join us for the Online Data Expedition: Investigate the Garment Factories October 18-20. What we will do:
  • Geocode garment factories with the Open Street Map community
  • Create visualizations to explore and explain the data from the global garment supply chain
  • Investigate the global supply chains: find new data sources and dig into the key issues in the garment supply chain
Join the Data Expedition using this participant signup form or in the form below! The Data Expedition will also take place at on-site locations around the world such as Dhaka (Bangladesh). Would you like to help us turn the online expedition into a fantastic global expedition? Sign up to organise a local data expedition or help us run the global expedition! We’ll be there to support you along the way. All you need is a small venue, some great friends, and lots of curiosity. Get in touch to help facilitate the expedition with this facilitator signup form.

Announcing the Data Expedition: Investigate the Garment Factories

- October 2, 2013 in Data Expeditions

Photo credit: Andy Teo

Photo credit: Andy Teo

In May, the School of Data community got together in a Data Expedition to respond to the Rana Plaza catastrophe. They built a crowdsourced database on garment factories and used it to expose the bad safety standards and non-transparency that contributed to the disaster. Now we are taking the garment factory investigation to the next level with a new online Data Expedition. School of Data (a collaboration between the Open Knowledge Foundation and Peer 2 Peer University) together with the International Labor Rights Forum, School of Data will bring data explorers from around the globe together online to answer some of the tough questions about the global garment industry. Join us for the Online Data Expedition: Investigate the Garment Factories October 18-20. What we will do:
  • Geocode garment factories with the Open Street Map community
  • Create visualizations to explore and explain the data from the global garment supply chain
  • Investigate the global supply chains: find new data sources and dig into the key issues in the garment supply chain
Join the Data Expedition using this participant signup form or in the form below! The Data Expedition will also take place at on-site locations around the world such as Dhaka (Bangladesh). Would you like to help us turn the online expedition into a fantastic global expedition? Sign up to organise a local data expedition or help us run the global expedition! We’ll be there to support you along the way. All you need is a small venue, some great friends, and lots of curiosity. Get in touch to help facilitate the expedition with this facilitator signup form. flattr this!