For most municipalities, participatory budgeting is a relatively new approach to include their citizens directly in the decision making for new investments and developments in their community.
OpenBudgets.eu and Datenschule organised the Story Hunt this spring: a program for Journalists, Activists, NGOs, Designers, and Coders to dive into EU financial flows. The program was based on the previous work of subsidystories.eu; the data collection project brining together all EU subsidy data. StoryHunt encouraged the participants to take a closer look at the data and find stories and leads. The program consisted of two parts: a workshop series and a weekend long data dive. This blogpost reviews the workshop sessions, our weekend recap can be found here.
The Storyhunt: Uncover the EU was a weekend-long journalism workshop hosted by the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany’s teams of Datenschule and OpenBudgets.eu. Together with journalists, analysts, non-profit organizations, developers and designers we dove into EU financial data provided by subsidystories.eu.
It is that time of year again here in Brussels. As predictable as the bluebells blooming in les bois bordering the city, the Parliament will be voting once again this week on its annual financial discharge report. And, once again, MEPs will be debating and voting on whether their own allowances will be given any transparency or accountability.
One month after releasing subsidystories.eu, a joint project with Open Knowledge International, we have some great news to share. Due to the extensive outreach of our platform and the data quality report we published, new datasets have been directly sent to us by several administrations. We have recently added new data for Austria, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, first Romanian data recently arrived and should be available in the near future.
Today OpenBudgets.eu presents the European Structural Funds Data Quality Index. Slovenia ranks highest, based on high data quality and high accessibility and usability of its portal.
For the project SubsidyStories.eu we collected all European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) beneficiary data from all 28 EU member states and turned it into actual Open Data. Subsidystories.eu is a tool that enables the user to visualize, analyze and compare subsidy data across the European Union thereby enhancing transparency and accountability in Europe. This report goes into detail on the difficulties we encountered obtaining, cleaning and standardising the data and thereby turning it into Open Data.
Open Knowledge Greece is organizing a workshop aimed towards recognizing red flags and writing relevant news stories.
An investigation by Transparency International EU Office has uncovered three ways MEPs fiddle with expenses.
OpenBudgets prototype officially launched!
For the beta version, we have developed tools around the three pillars of the project: data analytics, citizen engagement, and journalism. In the realm of data analytics, we present a time series forecasting algorithm that integrates with OpenSpending and predicts and visualizes the development of budgets into the future. As for citizen engagement, the participatory budgeting interface lets users preview the interaction with the budget allocation process. Finally, the highly praised ‘budget cooking recipes’ website highlights the journalistic value of budget data by listing cases in which it has been used to investigate corruption.