Transparency of International Organisations Budgets


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Challenger : Open State Foundation

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In a nutshell: How can Open Multilaterals data be used to increase the financial transparency of multilateral organizations?

Open Multilaterals makes the procurement of multilateral organizations more transparent. The Open Multilaterals dataset contains nearly 400,000 contracts for services and goods from the United Nations, NATO and the World Bank. The website currently visualizes this data by focusing on how much companies of all countries benefit from these contracts. But the data can be used to do much more. We challenge the participants of this hackathon to create new analyses and visualizations using this data, or to combine it with other datasets to open up even more possibilities and to make the data more accessible. The end goal is to increase the financial transparency of multilateral organizations.

While some multilateral organizations are quite transparent about their finances, most don’t publish all of their budget, spending or procurement data or they don’t make it accessible enough as open data. This information should be available as many countries contribute financially to these multilateral organizations. Opening up this data increases transparency and accountability when researchers, journalists and citizens can scrutinize the data. Also, businesses can inform themselves with this information and make better decisions. In this quickscan from last year you can see the status of financial transparency of 24 multilateral organizations. The quickscan results and data can be found here.

The Open Multilaterals dataset was acquired in different ways. The NATO and UN data had to be scraped from PDF files. The World Bank on the other hand neatly publishes this data in different accessible formats on their own data platform. One of the goals of the challenges is thus also to diffuse best tools and practices.

More information about the Open Multilaterals dataset can found on the Data page. Though you most likely don’t need it, the source code for openmultilaterals.org is available on GitHub.

Challenger representative : Sicco van Sas

Mentors : Svanhildur Thorvaldsdottir + Sicco van Sas


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Open State Foundation Challenge > Open Multilaterals data
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