Enhancing Transparency in Political Finance with Technology

No matter what country you are from, money is an inescapable part of political campaigns. But citizens have the right to know who is really funding their local candidates and influencing the results of elections.

In collaboration with the Sunlight Foundation, we hosted a series of free webinars to examine the the influence of money in elections and to explore the ways in which tech can make the system more transparent. The series has ended but you can watch the webinar recording’s below.


I: Political Finance in the Digital Age: How can accountability be enhanced by technology and open data?

February 11th, 2014 10-11AM ET

The inaugural webinar of the series, we explore the world of political finance, from the different types of data available to how this information can improve accountability in government and the electoral process.

The session will introduce ways technology has changed the way political finance data is made available and illustrate through examples different tools and resources that can be built off this data. Lastly, we will discuss the impact of having this type of data available and accessible for journalists and NGOs.


II: How can the transparency of political finance be enhanced when we don’t have reliable government data?

March 11th, 2014 10-11AM ET

Very often political finance information is not available, so creative projects have sprung up to crowdsource information or connect the dots by using other available datasets.

The second session of our webinar series introduces ways that technology can be exploited to monitor election spendings or explore undue influence on the decision-making process. We also identify examples of inspiring and innovative things that agencies/local governments are doing in this space, projects that might be set as examples to other governments. Lastly, we discuss possible ways of advocating for enhanced data disclosure in political finance and introduce some of the existing advocacy materials.

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III: Beyond government: How can you inject political finance information in your life and why should anyone care? What’s next?

April 14th, 2014 10-11AM ET

This final session of our webinar series explores ways to increase citizen awareness and participation in using political finance data.

We introduce some of the creative ideas that inject political finance information into the everyday life of people and brainstorm about the possible ways to make this information relevant on an individual level. We also talk about developing crowdsourced projects to network with civic hackers and other ways of building a community. Lastly, we open up to the floor for a brainstorm session around the challenges and next steps to enhance accountability in political financing.