Your experiences in obtaining fiscal data

In working with a number of partners to upload fiscal data to OpenSpending, we learned that obtaining such data can still be difficult. We are reaching out to you to learn about your experiences in “unlocking” fiscal data and tips to have ongoing access to fiscal data.

These are a few examples from our partners:

  1. Filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request (Sinar project in Malaysia)
  2. Went into meetings with authorities to make the case for open fiscal data (Sinar project in Malaysia)
  3. Partnered with other CSOs in the country that work closely with the municipalities who were willing to share the data that they had already collected (Metamorphosis in Macedonia)
  4. Scraped the data from the website of the Ministry of Finance (Metamorphosis in Macedonia)
  5. Organized information workshops to present the necessity of involving citizens in the budget cycle to diverse stakeholders (Mayors, Supreme Audit Institutions, Civil Society Organizations, Journalists, etc.) (AfroLeadership in Cameroon)

What is your experience? Please share your experiences here.


Scrap the PDF file from the ministry of finance website; Discuss with the Direction of the budget and the Direction of public procurement to have extracts from the database. Open Burkina


Hello Victoria,
For FutureTDM we are interested in text- and datamining and challenges the community have experienced trying to get/use the data. @titinto mentions scraping : very interested to hear more about this and other use

thanks !


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Some of our jurisdictional data is relatively easy, but some is much more difficult. The process of putting it all together seems like something that would be good to crowdsource… Is anyone aware of any sort of open ledgers that would let you effectively add accounting entries that are transparent to everyone? Is that effectively what the OpenSpending platform is intended to be?

It would be awesome to be able to visualize data like this as a network, with entities as blobs, and lines between them as transactions…

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Hi @titinto, thank you for sharing. Would you be able to share what was the outcome of the discussion with the Direction of Budget? Did they start offering the data in more accessible ways? What is the data obtaining procedure?

@titinto, @Cameron_Wallace, @freyja, we published the examples collected from community here: How to ‘unlock’ the value of fiscal data for civil society: experiences from the OpenSpending community – Open Knowledge Foundation blog