Central to OGP is the belief that “good ideas come from everywhere” and we at ONE could not agree more. Our Follow the Money website provides a centralized place to highlight stories about how citizens are successfully using open data to improve government performance and effectiveness. These stories demonstrate how local citizens, communities and civil society can use information to create powerful and tangible changes at the local level. Hopefully they will inspire others to do the same.
When domestic reformers are able to follow the money, they can press for governments to be more accountable and responsive to citizens. For instance, civil society organizations in South Africa used budget data to successfully campaign for increased support for an anti-poverty program, leading to an increase in recipients from 1.9 million to 11.1 million. In Azerbaijan citizen monitoring of oil revenue spending revealed major leakages, leading to a government investigation and the recovery of $50 million.
These are just two of the many stories highlighted on ONE’s Follow the Money website. As governments make more information available, so too will the number of success stories of citizens using that data to effect change. To see more success stories, visit www.one.org/followthemoney.
If our map has attracted your interest, or if you are already a longtime “transparency” enthusiast, you might consider joining the Follow the Money Network, which is a coalition of activists and advocacy organisations pushing for greater transparency in government so that people around the world are able to “follow the money”. For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.