Open Data for an Open Parliament : How to use Odekro.org

Since we shared our blogpost " What has your MP done for you? Analysing MPs' effectiveness between January 2013 and July 2014," we have been encouraged by the positive media coverage and the feedback we've received from many Ghanaian citizens.

Our article was referenced widely in a graphiconline article , which was subsequently serialised in peacefmonline, starrfmonline and ghanaweb. A big Thank You to these media houses. Our goal at Odekro is to improve the accountability of Ghanaian MPs to their constituents, and media houses on various platforms - online, print, radio, TV, - will be crucial partners if we are to achieve our aim.

Many journalists, academics and Ghanaian citizens in general have asked for access to our source data. Odekro is an Open Data project so we happily oblige. Please find below:

  1. The excel computations of the attendance records of MPs.

    https://goo.gl/r77b1J

  2. Charts showing the top and bottom 5% of MPs by attendance.

Top 5% of MPs by attendance:

Bottom 5% of MPs by attendance:

  1. The Hansards and Order Papers which we used to generate these computations can be accessed through the Odekro website. To read the questions, comments, or speeches of your MP, follow the following simple steps:

a) Type your MP's name into the Odekro search bar. I typed in my MP's name: "Irene Naa Torshie Addo"

b) Select the Hansard option to narrow your search to the Hansard.

c) Select the Hansard record for the date you would like to search from the list of results. The list of search results constitutes all statements and questions by or references to your MP in the Hansards on Odekro's website.

Repeat these steps for any MP whose records you would like to search and relevant data will be at your fingertips in seconds.

The Odekro website currently has digitized copies of Hansards from 2010 - 2015. Our report used Hansards published between January 2013 and July 2014 because that is the most complete set of records which we have access to. If you or anyone you know has access to PDF copies of Hansards, order papers or Parliamentary reports, please e-mail us at info@odekro.org

Some citizens have noted that our analysis does not track the effect of MPs' questions or contributions on development projects in their constituencies. We plan to explore these and other issues in our subsequent reports.

Finally, we call on all journalists, activists, and citizens in general to search through and use this data. Analyse it, create infographics from it, design Ms scorecards, use the information in your interviews with MPs. Odekro is run primarily by volunteers such as myself, so our sustainability and growth is in the hands of all Ghanaians. We will be happy to publish any pieces you create using our content on blog.odekro.org. E-mail us at info@odekro.org and we'll work with you. We must all work together to hold our MPs accountable, for in the words of the song Arise Ghana Youth, " We are all involved in building our motherland."