Join the GLOW: run a Wikidata workshop in your country

Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW) celebrates open, participatory legislative processes across the globe.

Back in 2015 we marked GLOW by setting up a challenge: could we get politician data for 200 countries up on EveryPolitician within the week, with the help of the global community? The answer was a resounding yes, and the challenge was a massive success. We ended up with data for 201 countries in the end, thanks to help from awesome people from all over the world.

This year, we’re running another challenge: to get as many Wikidata workshops focusing on political data to happen during GLOW as possible.

Fancy helping with this challenge? Read on…

Why?

This is all part of our Wikidata/EveryPolitician project.

The project aims to improve political data in Wikidata, so that it can be used more easily for projects, research or investigations that hold politicians to account. Examples of where good political data is vital include in parliament-tracking websites (like in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Ukraine) and in cross-border journalistic investigations (like the Panama Papers).

Providing this data in consistent and structured formats across countries means the people running these accountability projects spend less of their time gathering the data and more on actually using and interpreting it, to keep tabs on those in power. This project is all part of our mission to contribute to the Democratic Commons.

One of the best ways to improve and use political data on Wikidata is to get people together in person to work on their country’s data. So, that’s the aim with this latest GLOW challenge, and we’d love for as many groups around the world to host Wikidata workshops as possible!

The aim of these Wikidata workshops is to:

  • Improve political information in Wikidata so that developers, researchers and journalists (or anyone!) can use the data in their investigations and accountability projects.
  • Use and query existing political data in Wikidata to see what interesting questions can be answered when data is available in consistent and structured formats.

Workshop attendees will go away with:

  • Increased knowledge of how Wikidata works and how to contribute to it
  • A better understanding of why good political data is so vital and how it can be used
  • New connections to the global community of people who care about accountability issues
  • A warm, fuzzy feeling of satisfaction that they’ve helped with the global accountability movement 😉 (We hope so anyway!)

Not sure what such an event might look like? Read up on our recent Wikifying Westminster workshop: it really showed us how much can be done when a few people get together in a room.

Funding and support available

Thanks to the Wikimedia Foundation, we’re able to offer some support to individuals/groups who are interested in running Wikidata workshops like these during GLOW. This will differ on a case by case basis but includes:

  • A small amount of funding to help cover event costs
  • A review of your country’s existing political information in Wikidata and some pointers about possible next steps
  • Ideas for how you and your attendees can:
    a) Use the data for interesting research and projects, and
    b) Improve the data for future research queries/projects
  • In-person support during your event – if you’d like one of our EveryPolicitian/Wikidata team to come to your event to present and participate, we can do this (if our budget allows!)
  • Access to a dedicated Slack channel which connects you with other groups around the world who are also running events during GLOW.

Workshops can take place at any time within GLOW week, which is from 20th-30th November 2017 (yes, that is a long week!).

Get involved!

So, if you’d like to be part of this global challenge to improve and use political information in Wikidata, we’d be thrilled to hear from you. Please do get in touch: gemma@mysociety.org

2 Comments

  1. I seek to be enlisted through MAONI NETWORK[Kenya] to co-organise a two days workshop on a date to be identified
    together with colleagues in Kenya, but definitely before 30th or included or 27th, November, 2017 in Kenya

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