Democracy

We help people in 12 countries to provide citizens with sites that keep an eye on their parliaments. Meanwhile, here in the UK, we run TheyWorkForYou and WriteToThem.

But this year we’ve also been working on a massive initiative: the EveryPolitician project collects and shares data on politicians around the world so that anyone, anywhere, can use it for their own parliamentary monitoring site… or any other project.

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…

People’s Assembly

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.

Mzalendo

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!

Odekro

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.

Mzalendo Facebook survey page

Can Facebook increase political participation? That’s what we’re hoping to find out, with the help of over 6,000 surveys on the site. Preliminary findings are positive – Watch this space for more!

Wazzock

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.

How responsive is your MP?

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

Next up: A big thank you to our supporters