Follow the Money: Notable Links from Webinar

Who Controls It - imageThe international participants in this week’s TABridge webinar embodied the spirit of peer learning at the heart of our upcoming Follow the Money workshop. Throughout the presentation on workshop goals and the potential of tech to help citizens “Follow the Money,” the webinar chat was percolating with project examples added by audience members.

As T/AI’s Andrea Menapace explained during the event, a community of practice is emerging in the “Follow the Money” field, comprised of activists, journalists, technologists and funders working to trace the flows of public and private money. We are planning January’s workshop to maximize information-sharing and collaboration among this network–so it was especially exciting to see the enthusiasm to compare notes among the webinar audience, which included many of the participants expected in Berlin next month.

We’ll be posting a webinar summary and a downloadable archive in the next few days, but in the meantime, please see the list of projects below for a chance to immerse yourself in tools and innovations from our gifted colleagues in the “Follow the Money” movement:

Investigative Dashboard – Tracks and links national business records to help investigators expose illicit ties that cross borders. Created by ANCIR in collaboration with the African Media Initiative (AMI) and receive technology support from Code for Africa.

ONE Campaign – Webinar guest speaker David McNair described ONE’s programs to promote government transparency oil and gas transparency, open data, including their recent $3 million grant from the Omidyar Network to support “Follow the Money” efforts. David also shared this hilarious but hard-hitting video that explains the high stakes of hidden company ownership data using animation and, of course, zombies: The Biggest Heist You’ve Never Heard Of.

AidData Dashboard – Aggregates international resource flows including  aid, remittances and grants across nearly 1.5 million development projects

Aid Data DashboardOpen Contract Data Standard – The Open Contracting Partnership has collaborated with the Web Foundation to create the first version of a data standard for reporting contracting and procurement information.

The Great Rip Off Map – A project to map the abuse of anonymous company ownership, often set up specifically to hold, “offshore” or hide assets—created as part of Global Witness’s campaign with TED and other partners to “End Anonymous Companies.”

Great Rip Off

Open Nepal – A collaboration of Nepalese NGOs and international groups including Development Initiatives working to create a “sustainable information ecosystem” to track local development efforts.

Follow the Money Network – Comprised of dozens of groups from the TABridge, Open Knowledge, Global Integrity, aid transparency and anti-corruption communities, the network works “to support and strengthen the community of activists and advocacy organisations pushing for the transparency that is needed for citizens around the world to follow the money.”

WhoControlsIt – A “proof-of-concept” database by Open Corporates that helps to follow beneficial ownership between companies

The Open Budget Survey Tracker – A new tool from TABridge co-organizer the International Budget Partnership, providing regular monthly updates on publication of key budget documents by countries’ central governments

Mapa Regalías – An interactive tool from the Colombian government that allow citizens to track mining royalties and the projects financed by those royalties (Spanish)

Mapa Regalias

The Cost of D.C. Council’s Power Over Contracts – A news investigation and data tool exploring  the procurement process in Washington, D.C.

Other visualization and comparison tools examples from the group included (in Hebrew) and Open Oil’s tool showing contractual relationships in Nigeria’s oil sector. Al Jazeera also launched a display tool earlier this year that tracks African public works and infrastructure projects funded (“sometimes controversially”) by China.

Many thanks to all the webinar participants who added links and shared their wisdom with the hosts and speakers. We’ll be posting a full archive of the webinar early next week.

Read more about our upcoming Follow the Money workshop in Berlin, Germany.


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