Influence Mapping February Roundup

Influence Mapping February Roundup

Welcome again to our monthly roundup with stories around transparency and accountability, along with investigative journalism, studies and tools for the data practitioners. 

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Create stories out of your network visualization with the New Oligrapher (Influence Mapping)


“The LittleSis team is currently working on a new version of its visual maps tool, Oligrapher. In collaboration with groups from the Influence Mapping network, this new version will be much more easily deployable by other projects and will facilitate storytelling through story maps”.

Sketching with Data Opens the Mind’s Eye (Giorgia Lupi, Medium)


“The visual representation of information plays an increasingly critical role in every situation where data and quantitative information need to be translated into more digestible stories.”

OpenGov Voices: Why data journalism tries, and fails, to go global (Eva Constantaras, Sunlight Fundation)

“Transforming the legacy media’s messengers of breaking news into change agents for government accountability is a major challenge. It requires not just explaining the problem, but also exploring solutions.With this in mind, overcoming apathy will require not just a couple of data driven stories, but a structured journalism approach to covering governance consistently over time.

What the global open data index shows about Africa (Stephen Abbott, Ijnet)

"From government spending and pollution emissions to procurement tenders and land ownership, the index sets standards for datasets can be applied to any country. It is useful to look at how African countries performed in the index and what lessons they can learn from it". Why dirty money is far too easy to hide (TED) hidden_money_charmian_gooch_ted_2000px Corrupt officials and criminal operators are brilliant at hiding their money and actions from public view. But there’s something we can do about it, says the team at Global Witness. It starts with closing loopholes. Open data is changing the world in four ways (The Govlab) Despite global commitments to and increasing enthusiasm for open data, little is actually known about its use and impact. What kinds of social and economic transformation has open data brought about, and what is its future potential? How—and under what circumstances—has it been most effective? How have open data practitioners mitigated risks and maximized social good? Which country is the worst for rejecting asylum seekers? (Code for SouthAfrica) "With the Syrian crisis putting asylum seekers high on the news agenda, the UN’s refugee agency has released a report on global forced displacement trends. And, as is often the case when it comes to being good at something bad, South Africa tops the tables for highest asylum rejection rate."




You can read all the theory in the world about priority queues and binary searches, but seeing these structures in action can really make it click. If you’re the sort of developer that learns better with pictures rather than words, check out VisuAlgo.

Research about incentivizing useful budget transparency (2015)

This research paper by Stephen Kosack works around what can international actors do to incentivize budget transparency that increases government accountability.

Transparency Register of the UE

The Transparency Register has been set up to answer core questions such as what interests are being pursued, by whom and with what budgets. The system is operated jointly by the European Parliament and the European Commission.

Github list of public data sets

This list of public data sources are collected and tidied from blogs, answers, and user responses. Most of the data sets listed below are free.

Global Corruption Report on Sport (2016)

At a time when football, tennis and track and field face big corruption crises Transparency International published its Global Corruption Report.



Polymaps, free JavaScript library for making interactive maps

Polymaps can load data at a full range of scales. Ideal for showing information from country level on down to states, cities, neighborhoods, and individual streets.

The open source Javascript graphing library that powers plotly

Any developer can now integrate Plotly’s library into their own applications. Plotly.js supports 20 chart types, including 3D plots, geographic maps, and statistical charts like density plots, histograms, box plots, and contour plots.


This are the surprising connections between Davos elite (BBC)


It’s no surprise that heads of states might be connected to major academics or chief executives. But then there are the connections that surprise. Kevin Spacey connected to a banking giant? Leonardo DiCaprio connected to Shimon Peres? The hidden links are everywhere.



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