EveryPolitician, an aptly named new project from Poplus and mySociety, has a simple yet arduous mission: collect and share data about every single politician in the world.
It’s a bold initiative, but the project is well on its way to meeting that vision, already amassing information on over 50,000 national-level politicians from 161 countries in its database — and its growing every day. Eventually, the goal is to compile basic information about every parliament in the world — past and present — and make it all freely available for anyone to use in standardized formats.
By releasing all of this information as open data, EveryPolitician is making it free for anyone to use or adapt in their projects. No matter if it’s a civic startup building an interactive tool, a researcher working on an in-depth analysis or a parliamentary watchdog running advocacy campaigns, all of the data will be open and accessible. And by creating a dataset that will be available in structured formats, it will be much easier to integrate the data in a variety of projects. Because this information is coming from a multitude of different sources, much of the data is in disparate forms that make it hard to work with. All of the data in EveryPolitician will be structured in Popolo format and available to download as both CSV and JSON. This consistency allows users to more easily compare one country’s data to another, or work on projects across different countries.
To get started, just search for the name of any country. You’ll be directed to a page listing out different legislative bodies for that country, and can click through to see information on that particular group of politicians, such as member names, party affiliation, geographic information and dates of serving. But there’s more data than what you’ll see on the website! Check out the associated CSV and JSON downloads to see even greater details for these legislative bodies, such as official contact details, gender, photos and more. And useful projects have already sprouted up by utilizing EveryPolitician: A new game called Gender Balance is crowd-sourcing gender data across every parliament in the world, helping paint a fuller picture of who really makes up international legislatures.
But there is still a lot of work to be done — and you can help! There are several ways to contribute to EveryPolitician:
Help locate politician data for more countries; here’s a list of ones that are still needed.
If you have some technical experience, try writing a scraper to help collect more data! Here’s a handy resource to get started.
Spot an error in some information being displayed on the website? They’re working on allowing anyone to edit the data directly, but for now you can send feedback or corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EveryPolitician is also pushing to hit 200 countries during Global Legislative Openness Week, happening until Sept. 15. If you have some time, lend a helping hand to this drive for data!