[openspending-dev] Mission of OpenSpending

Marc Joffe marc at publicsectorcredit.org
Tue Oct 15 16:31:27 UTC 2013



Thanks for laying this out.  I think it is very helpful to codify the
project’s general principles and approach. 


One thing surprised me about the mission statement.  I thought that
OpenSpending would be limited to government financial transactions. I could
see the benefits of also including large corporate financial transactions,
but I think it would be too intrusive to gather information on the finances
of individuals and small, privately held organizations.


Governments and corporate entities operating under a government charter have
a burden of accountability that we could usefully enforce. I don’t think it
is appropriate to shine the light of transparency on smaller, less
privileged or less powerful entities.


What do you think?




From: openspending-dev-bounces at lists.okfn.org
[mailto:openspending-dev-bounces at lists.okfn.org] On Behalf Of Tryggvi
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:17 AM
To: OpenSpending Discussion List; openspending-dev
Subject: [openspending-dev] Mission of OpenSpending


Hi all,

Sorry for cross-posting but this is a pretty big thing.

Last summer we worked on a document laying out the project structure (to
support growth of the project and the community) [1]. This helped us map the
governance of the project and it's principles [2]

[2]: http://community.openspending.org/about/governance/#Principles

I've been thinking about this and the future of OpenSpending. Thinking about
the future of OpenSpending alone in some corner of the Internet doesn't do
any good, especially since this is a community project (as we agreed on).

So I thought I'd throw out there what I've come up with and give all of you
a chance to participate.

What I've been trying to do is step back a little and think about the
project itself. What we are and where we're heading and how people can
participate (since we've mostly focused on how it is controlled).

I've created a first draft of four things which we can see as elevator
pitches to answer four different questions:

1. What are we trying to do? (The mission statement)
2. Why are we doing this? (The opportunities if we succeed)
3. How diverse is the project? (What are the areas of collaboration for us)
4. Who can participate? (anybody - but this is about skills we're looking

One thing you'll notice is that the mission statement has a slightly
different focus than the vision laid out in the google doc mentioned
earlier. The google doc is more based on the database itself. I
intentionally put more focus on what we as a community are trying to do
(since I think the project is broader than a single database - even though
the database is a central piece of our strategy, the database isn't really
our mission).

Like I said, this is a first draft and I'd love to get input from you. Is
this actually who we are? Is this how you see OpenSpending? Can this be
phrased differently? Is something missing, especially collaboration areas or
skills? Is there something there that shouldn't be? Just about any thoughts
you have would be great!

# Mission statement

OpenSpending is a community run project that aims to map, analyse,
understand, and display every financial transaction, plan, and contract, in
the world.

# Opportunities

A world where everyone understands the financial world around them, thanks
to transparent and accountable governments and enterprises, and can use that
understanding to affect positive social and political change.

# Areas of collaboration

Open up/get data, wrangle large datasets, maintain a large database,
software development, create visualisations, user experience/interface, help
people understand data.

# Skills required

Advocacy, data wrangling, software maintenance, database administration,
software testing, software development, web design, data analysis, writing.


Tryggvi Björgvinsson

Technical Lead, OpenSpending

The Open Knowledge Foundation <http://okfn.org> 

Empowering through Open Knowledge

http://okfn.org/ | @okfn <http://twitter.com/OKFN>  | OKF on Facebook
<https://facebook.com/OKFNetwork>  | Blog <http://blog.okfn.org/>  |
Newsletter <http://okfn.org/about/newsletter> 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/openspending-dev/attachments/20131015/58f2e81e/attachment.html>

More information about the openspending-dev mailing list