What is OpenSpending


Current summary on the website:

“OpenSpending is the community-driven project creating a free and open database of public financial transactions worldwide”

Suggested change

“OpenSpending is a community-driven project creating the world’s largest and best database of public financial transactions - and all as open data”


  • The largest and highest quality (free and open) database of public financial information in the world.
  • Budget data for all countries for all years (that that data exists) - and data is conformed (in standard structure and comparable)
  • The most widely used database of public financial information
  • Heavily reused by others - primarily used (viewed) indirectly not directly (i.e. on other people’s sites via the API)
  • Community-driven - data contributed from multiple sources and with a large aspect of peer-based curation and creation

Near-term goals


  • Do we go deep or do we go broad first
  • Deep: focus on high-quality conformed data
  • Broad: as much data as possible (at a reasonable but reasonable level of quality)
  • Quality spectrum
  • Stage 0: raw (may not even be decent CSV, bad formatting)
  • Stage 1: standardized CSV, amount (and maybe time)
  • Stage 2: amount, to, from
  • Stage 3: standardized classification (e.g. cofog)
  • Stage 4: full budget data package
  • Stage 5: that + full entity references with standardized ids etc


  • want to have depth and breadth ultimately (both good coverage, and excellent quality)
  • short-term we focus on getting to stages 1-2 (and maybe 3) and being clear what quality data is at