We started the year with a democracy win for Costa Rica…
In January, YourNextRepresentative site TusRepresentantesLocales launched in Costa Rica. It’s evolving into a permanent parliamentary monitoring project, QuiénTeRepresenta, which will cover the country’s mayors and councillors.
…And then things in the UK went a little crazy
In the rollercoaster of a week that the Brexit results were announced and David Cameron resigned, 110,265 people visited TheyWorkForYou and 44,990 accessed WriteToThem. That’s up to six times the usual traffic. Phew!
Suddenly everyone was into politics. Fortunately, we were there for them.
We also added a whole swathe of new voting topics to TheyWorkForYou, including an Environment section, so it’s now even easier to see how any MP cast their vote on the issues that matter to you.
3.4 million pieces of data
EveryPolitician now covers 71,934 politicians in 233 countries. Can you help us source data for the last 12?
150,331 UK, NI, and Scottish Parliament contributions
In the UK Parliament alone, MPs and Lords racked up a total of 91,342 speeches – cramming in an extra 4,000 contributions compared to 2015.
Meanwhile, around the world…
Do people feel more empowered after using South African PMO site People’s Assembly? 46% say yes. That’s up from 38% in 2015.
Plus, some concerted user-centred design work from mySociety this year resulted in over 100% more visitors to People’s Assembly’s infographics and blog pages.
Just as in the USA, election fever in Kenya starts early, and Mzalendo presented information from July, a full 13 months ahead of the August 2017 ballot date.
And the work mySociety did on Mzalendo’s IEBC office locator has been noted by the CEO at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission — he loves it!
At the request of our partners who run Odekro in Ghana, we added an API to Pombola so that researchers can better analyse the country’s parliamentary record. This is live for Mzalendo in Kenya, and will be coming to Odekro soon.
Earlier this year, we spotted the UK Parliament’s first, and only, use of the word “wazzock”.
Can you guess which contentious figure the MP was referring to?
Not every team member is a human
The EveryPolitician dataset has grown dramatically in 2016, quickly becoming the richest open dataset on politicians in the world.
But we can’t take all the credit for looking after all that politician data — that’s the job of our hardworking little friend, the EveryPolitician Bot.
WriteToThem and campaigning
Did you know that you can put WriteToThem’s functionality right onto any website? That’s what anti-debt charity Stepchange did.
Tracking MP responsiveness in the UK
WriteToThem users sent over 207,668 emails to their councillors, MPs or other elected representatives in 2016.
Two weeks later, we ask them if they got a reply, and every year, the results make up our Responsiveness League Table for the previous twelve months.
Most responsive MP
Jason McCartney, Colne Valley
Up 9 places from last year
Least responsive MP
David Burrowes, Enfield, Southgate
Down 322 places from last year
People and democracy
@TheyWorkForYou you guys should know, you’ve massively changed how i engage with politics (for the better). much love, youre doing big tings