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When we present data and information, the medium is often the message. “Download our full dataset (19MB),” sends a different message than “New figures suggest the oil spill would cover Lake Erie.” The tension between data depth and clear narratives is not a simple one, though. Sometimes the most important story data tells is in the relationships between data sets.

In the oil, gas and mining sector, a complex web of relationships governs the flow of money from private companies to governments to the local communities that benefit from government spending and services. Groups like Publish What You Pay and NRGI are in Ottawa discussing better tools to promote accountability in the extractive industries by extracting data on these fiscal flows, which can also include foreign aid and local taxes, among other things.

The World Bank has been working with colleagues from these fields to draft a tool that can illustrate the web of relationships in the extractive sector, and serve as a visual backdrop for posting data in context.

This week, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) is hosting extractives experts from six countries to at the International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Ottawa, Canada.

Civil society actors and government officials from Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, the Philippines and Tanzania arrived ahead of the IODC event for an intensive workshop on the power of open data to enhance their efforts in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The workshop marked the inauguration of our Extractives Open Data Leaders program, established to strengthen open data work within EITI country processes by improving data availability, increasing data standardization, improving open data licensing, and enhancing data reuse.

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