Open Spending Aid Bubbles

Screenshot and Link

View demonstrations here or here (temporary URLs), or check out the source.


The Open Spending project has an ambitious goal: to map government finance from all around the globe. Over the last few months, Mark Brough, from Publish What You Fund has been working with the Open Spending platform, and Open Spending team, to convert IATI XML data for importing into Open Spending. Currently, a draft copy of this converted data is on Open Spending’s ‘User Acceptance Testing (UAT)’ server where you can explore it:

Loading IATI Data onto open spending brings a number of opportunities, as Open Knowledge Foundation co-founder, Rufus Pollock has explained:

  • Open Spending provides a searchable list of transactions in the IATI Data, and a faceted browsing interface to work through the data
  • It provides JSON and CSV export of any filtered list of transactions to support other developers to build on it
  • The Open Spending platform is working to make data more comparable across contexts, and to standardise the way spending data is captured
  • There are a growing number of visualisation tools for working with Open Spending data.
Mark has been using one of these visualisation tools, the recently updated open spending bubble charts,  to create a ‘Spending Bubbles’ representation of IATI data.
The spending visualisations can be configured to drill-down through the IATI data in different ways. For example, by funder and year, or by region, country and aid-type, with the outer element of spending bubbles showing which organisations were involved in funding.
Exploring the data in this way surfaces both insights about aid spending, and insights about the current quality of data coming from donors. For example, differences in the amount of historical data different donors are providing can make adding up data across years difficult, and can suggest larger gaps between commitments and spending that may exist in reality.

Technologies used


Mark Brough

Still quiet

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