We need your help

We’re always looking for new sources of data. If you know where to get data we’re missing for politicians in your country, please help!

Right now, we’re concentrating on making sure we have current data on the national legislatures for every country in the world. If you know of a good source of data that we seem to be missing, please let us know.

How to contribute

In summary, if you:

  • know where there’s a source of data we’re currently lacking
  • have some or all of the data we’re looking for, or can put us in touch with a group who has it, or even just know where we can find it in a reasonably well-structured form
  • or want to write a scraper that converts data from such a source into the simple CSV format we prefer to import

...then please send an email to team@everypolitician.org and tell us!

Here’s more about what we’re looking for, and how you can help.

What’s the problem?

EveryPolitician’s data is built by collating data from multiple online sources into a single collection. Those sources can be hard to find, especially in countries where enthusiasm for open data is low, or politicians don’t expect to be held to account. We know that we can’t find all these sources ourselves. We benefit from local people pointing out good sources where they exist.

We want sources rather than raw data, because once we have a source we continue to monitor it, picking up changes and corrections. The EveryPolitician data is not static: it’s constantly being updated.

We’ve managed to collect some data on politicians in the national legislatures of almost every country in the world. But this will never be complete. More countries, more kinds of data, more historic data.

A summary of the process

1. There’s a data source somewhere on the web

We find out about it because someone like you tells us about it.

2. We turn that into a format we can import

We write a program that extracts the data into our preferred CSV format... unless you’re technical and you want to write a scraper for us instead.

3.We pull it into EveryPolitician

We do this bit. We add it by telling EveryPolitician where the importable data is, and how to merge it with data from the other sources we already have.

What is a source?

We combine multiple sources for each legislature. For example, we might be getting a legislature’s members' names and dates of birth from one source and their twitter handles from another. This is why we’re always interested in sources which contain data we haven’t got yet.

  • It does not need to be complete.

    We combine with other sources, and inevitably we often have richer data on some politicians in a legislature than others. So even if we can only get email addresses or social media details for half of the members, that’s better than none to start with.
  • It does not need to be official.

    Of course we love getting data from official parliament websites and APIs. But as a single source such a service will never contain everything we want. Parliamentary Monitoring Organisations’ websites are amongst our favourites, but useful sources can turn up all over the place. Journalists’ work, political parties, local special interest groups; really, there’s no limit.
  • It does not need to be current.

    We collate and share historical data in exactly the same way as data about today’s politicians. One of the goals of the EveryPolitician project is to make it possible for people to use our data for analyses of data changes over time.
  • It’s best if it is online.

    Sometimes it won’t be (perhaps if you’ve found an archive of historic data). But if that’s the case, we’d probably look for a way to put it online, and then set about using it.

The simplest way you can help is to tell us about an online source that contains politicians’ data which we appear to be missing.

If your country is missing data

Have a look at the list of countries we don’t have data for yet.

If a country is listed under “Source needed” then it’s still at step 1 of the process. If you know where there is comprehensive politician data for that country, please let us know!

If a country appears under “Scraper needed” it means that we do have at least one source for the data, but so far nobody has turned that data into a format we can easily import — this is waiting at step 2. It will be on our list of things to do (in fact, you should see it as an issue on GitHub).

If we’re very lucky the data identified in the source is already in a lovely format, and we can move straight to step 3. That’s very rare, though, so normally the data will need to be taken off the web pages it’s on and turned into easy-to-import data. That’s what the scrapers do, and we effectively have at least one for every country whose data is in EveryPolitician.

If you’re a developer and you fancy writing such a scraper, we’d be stupendously grateful. We’ve written some guidelines about writing scrapers to help you (depending on how complex or clean the source data, it might be easier — and more fun! — than you think).

Once the data’s in a suitable format, we’ll add it to the instructions EveryPolitician follows to combine incoming data. That’s step 3 and we’ll take care of that for you.

If you see an error in the data

Found something incorrect in the data we’re currently displaying on the site?

We’re working on building tools to let you edit the data directly, but in the meantime, if you see an error that should be corrected, email us at team@everypolitician.org.

Please include evidence for your proposed change such as a link to an official or credible source.

If there are gaps in the data

At this early stage, we’re focusing on making sure we have basic information about the current legislators in every country: names, contact details, political parties, and the areas they represent. Please help us gather that if you can.

Covering every current legislature is our primary goal right now, but it’s always great when we can obtain past information too. See, for example, the data for Greenland, which contains data on every Member since the formation of its current Parliament in 1979.

Looking for different data?

In this initial phase, we’re only collecting information about country-level Parliaments and Congresses. Eventually we hope that much more than this will be available, but having every national legislature would be a great first step.