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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.

On 26 February we were delighted to host a live discussion featuring participants from our recent “Follow the Money” Workshop in Berlin. Guest speakers from several countries recounted their insights from the two-day event and, more importantly, brought stories and samples from works in progress that draw on their Berlin conversations. A full archive of the Webinar is available to play online. You can also download the slide presentation (pdf).

Andrea Menapace led off the discussion by reviewing the purpose of our "Follow the Money" (FTM) activities. While the Workshop's first practical aim was to share experiences about how tech can add value and what’s really needed to bring change, our more ambitious aim was to find concrete areas for potential new work, and to help spark collaborations with true potential for impact.

It was a privilege to help plan and host January’s “Follow the Money Workshop” in Berlin, convened by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/AI) and deftly facilitated by co-organizers Aspiration. Almost half the participants in the T/AI event also had the chance to continue the discussion one day later in a separate gathering of the informal Follow the Money Network.

I saw a community of loosely affiliated groups coalesce around their shared values for the use of public resources, and begin to think together about collaborations to further shared goals.

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