Montenegro is one of the top countries as rated by the quality of the asset declarations law, partly because that assets are being published in HTML tables on a central website. The practice of working with assets shows a rather different perspective: the site is often down and it’s hard to extract standardized data due to the laxity of politicians. How can we remedy that?
Center for Democratic Transition
The need of making assets more transparent was raised by a local organization, Center for Democratic Transition. We’ve then started to look for a best solution to address this need..
It took us some time. Looking for the right partner for scaling, figuring out details of the budget, sending the contracts from Podgorica via Warsaw to San Francisco. But finally we have it!
Cooperation with Fair Play Alliance?
FairPlay Alliance from Slovakia was our first candidate for mother organization (the one providing tool, methodology or experience in scaling process). They’ve created and used Politika Open portal for advocacy towards stricter regulation of asset declarations law.
In the end technical issues and focus on tool for analysis rather than advocacy made us look for another partner.
Data-storytelling by Texty.org.ua
Texty.org.ua are an Ukrainian NGO focusing on data-driven storytelling. We’ve invited them because of their involvement in gamification of Ukrainian assets declarations, as well as other succesfull projects where they dive into data to get the most interesting stories that are hard to be contradicted.
Session at TicTec, Barcelona
After our session “Data standards for watchdogs: making a difference in Central and Eastern Europe” at MySociety’s TICTec conference in Barcelona, Andre Jvirblis from Transparency International Russia presented Deklarator.org, a portal opening up Russian assets declarations. We’ve started talking about the need to standardize asset declarations data and we hope to folllow up this conversation with an advocacy project in the future.
Cleaning the data
Politicians has been filling the declarations in a way that require going manually through each declaration and structuring the data. On POINT conference, CDT team has proposed to focus on and clean declarations of some prominent political figures, because they will be interesting for storytelling. Following this approach, a month later we had the data cleaned.
Taking inspirations from Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia, a portal for Montenegrin assets declarations has been designed. On 10th July we are starting with the website development.
Data-storytelling workshop in Podgorica
At the end of July we have organized a workshop to transfer the data-storytelling experience of Texty.org.ua to Center for Democratic Transition, and to apply this technique to asset declarations project in Montenegro.
Two months and hundreds declarations transcribed by hand later the website went live! Now Montenegrin citizens can browse the asset declaration data, while researches can download it for analysis.
Recommendations for improving the work of the Agency for the prevention of corruption
Improving asset declarations system and wider context including instruments for the prevention of corruption is one of the main focus area of CDT Montenegro activities, led also after the TransparenCEE support finished. One of the most recent outcomes is the report including Recommendations for improving the work of the Agency for the prevention of corruption.