About the Legislative Openness Data Explorer
Background and General
Why global, comparative data on parliamentary openness?
Around the world, an increasing number of parliaments are embracing the principles of parliamentary openness: ensuring public access to legislative information, providing opportunities for meaningful citizen participation, and embracing the possibilities presented by new technologies. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) has provided an international platform for these parliaments to exchange experience, share good practice, and, in some cases, advance reform. OGP’s Legislative Openness Working Group compiled the data and administers this website. The website was built by the National Democratic Institute and KohoVolit.eu.
Despite growing global interest in the topic of legislative openness, relatively few global studies have been conducted. The Global Centre for ICT in Parliament’s World e-Parliament Report 2012 collected some information, though that report covers a much broader range of issues related to parliaments and technology. Civil society groups have also conducted strong regional studies, such as those done by the Latin American Legislative Transparency Network and NDI's Western Balkans Legislative Strengthening Initiative and the Slovak National Council. Regional studies are extremely valuable, but there is also value in comparing performance with countries around the world. It is important to capture comparative information on legislative openness at a global scale because innovation and good practice can originate anywhere. This website is an effort to ensure that global good practice is being effectively captured and shared.
Can I reuse the data on this website?
Yes! Reuse is strongly encouraged, and all the data is freely available for download. The website and all data is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
How can this data be used?
All the data is freely available for download and basic analyses and comparisons can be conducted on the Explore page. Users are encouraged to find creative uses of this data to advance legislative openness.
For those working in OGP member countries, the website can support the development of legislative openness commitments. For example, if a parliament is interested in developing a commitment to publish more information on committee proceedings, the website can provide a snapshot of global practice and highlight good practice examples. The scope of the data, however, is not limited to OGP member countries.
Civil society organizations may find this website to be a valuable advocacy tool. By comparing the performance of legislatures around the world, the website can incentivize reform and support civil society's calls for greater openness. The data and collection of good practices on the website can also help shape openness reform agendas.
How reliable is the Legislative Openness Data Explorer?
As this information was crowdsourced, no assurance of accuracy can be given and data may contain errors or be incomplete. When using this data in any way, the user should acknowledge this limitation. Users are encouraged to contribute to the data to ensure the website reflects the most up to date information on parliamentary openness practices.
Will translation be available?
The website administrators would welcome volunteer support to develop translated versions of the website. If interested, please contact the website administrators at [email protected]
It is also important to note that the survey was circulated in English only, due in part to the Working Group’s limited capacity. Given the highly technical nature of the survey, it is possible that circulating exclusively in English created a small number of data quality issues. To help address any such issues, see the Contribute page.
How was this data collected?
All of the collected data displayed on the website was gathered through survey based research. The information currently on the website was compiled by circulating a survey on the transparency and accessibility of parliamentary information. The survey was sent to parliaments and civil society organizations participating in the Working Group, in addition to networks such as OpeningParliament.org. The full survey can be seen here, and is broken into smaller sections on the Contribute page. Additional surveys will likely be circulated throughout 2016, likely covering legislative ethics regimes and mechanisms for citizen participation in the legislative process.
The initial survey was based in part on the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness, a series of principles on parliamentary transparency and citizen participation in the legislative process. In particular, the first survey considers the Declaration’s principles on public access to legislative information. Based on these principles, the first survey considers what information is published in addition to when, how, and in what formats that information is made available.
All the data displayed on this website was crowdsourced from parliaments and civil society organizations participating in the Working Group or otherwise engaged in the legislative openness community. The website administrators are relying on the knowledge of these experts to complete the survey and provide the necessary information. As such, it is expected that not all of the information on this website is accurate. Users are encouraged to either complete the survey themselves or suggest changes to the information as it is displayed, if necessary.
In instances when multiple actors completed the survey for the same chamber of parliament, the website administrators have worked to resolve inconsistencies or disagreements in as fair a manner as possible. That being said, community involvement is essential to ensure the most accurate information. For more information on how you can get involved, see the Contribute page.
What do the green, yellow, red, and gray icons represent?
On the Explore page, users can generate unique data tables and maps to easily analyze the information. In both instances, chambers of parliament are given either a green, yellow, red, or gray icon for each question. Typically, green indicates that the data is available, yellow that limited data is available, red that the data is not available, and gray for other. These colored icons are intended to provide a general overview of data availability, and should not necessarily be considered an indication of performance. To learn more about each data point, users may click on the colored icon. Doing so will produce a dialogue box with detailed information.
How can I contribute?
As a community project, the Legislative Openness Data Explorer relies on contributions from civil society organizations, researchers, parliamentary representatives, and others. Anyone with relevant expertise can contribute by adding data for a chamber of parliament, suggesting edits to existing data, or contributing good practice examples. See the Contribute page for more information.
Who manages this website?
The website is managed by the Open Government Partnership’s Legislative Openness Working Group, which is co-chaired by the Congress of Chile and the National Democratic Institute. KohoVolit.eu, a Czech and Slovak parliamentary monitoring organization, provided technical support in the design and construction of the website. In addition to these groups, numerous civil society organizations and parliaments contributed data.
How can I contact the website administrators?
To contact the website administrators directly, please email [email protected]g.