We connect data to generate transparency
            we disseminate them to prompt participation. 
            We create open and free tools 
            in order to 'open' politics.

Openpolis is an independent association founded in 2006 and jointly owned by hundreds of people. At Openpolis we develop and implement projects to enable free access to public information on political candidates, elected representatives, and legislative activity thus promoting transparency and the democratic participation of Italian citizens. Every day thousands of people access our web platforms in order to get or to supplement information on what elected representatives are aying, what laws they are proposing and how they are voting. The information is originally made up of public data extracted from Italian government websites, a wealth of information available for free to everybody, citizens and the media, supporting a diverse number of activities from parliamentary monitoring to data-driven journalism. Openpolis has rapidly turned into a civic observatory on Italian politics, daily analyzing the complex mechanisms that form Italy’s present and future, allowing experts and ordinary people to shape their own view.

We are part of an international network that promotes open government and our work is made more effective thanks to the constant comparison with other similar initiatives and to the direct contribution of many individuals who have chosen to actively participate into the political and public life of their country and that every day, through the Internet, redefine the very concept of democracy.

Since Julius Caesar decided for the first time to record and publish the proceedings of the Senate, writing them in the Acta Diuma (the first newspaper in history) with the intent to deprive the Senate of its aura of secrecy that contributed to its power, what Open Parlamento does is maybe the most advanced experiment to bring the management of democracy back in public.

Wired Italia, February 28, 2011

Projects and experiences

Open Politici (Open Politicians) lets you find out who our representatives are and what they are doing and saying. Started in 2007, today it counts tens of thousands of records on elected representatives from the smallest Italian municipality to the European Parliament and a distributed editorial staff of hundreds of people that monitor and document the work of Italian politicians. For each of the almost 150,000 representatives in office there is a factsheet containing her/his profile with personal data, her/his career in institutions, political parties and private sector, as well as and public statements.

Voi Siete Qui (You Are Here), a political-electoral orientation test, has attracted hundreds of thousands of people during the last several national and local elections. It makes major points of political programs accessible to citizens. By comparing your opinion on major political issues to those of the candidates, it helps you find out who are the closest and farthest to you.

Our most successful ever website is Open Parlamento (Open Parliament), with millions of hits since its start in 2009 as an information website; it has turned into a working tool for hundreds of people and a forum for debate for Italian citizens who start off a dialogue with politicians through the website. Open Parlamento provides citizens with tools to follow, understand and participate in what is being proposed, discussed and voted by Italian MPs. Every day, official data concerning the activity of the Lower and Higher House of Parliament are extrapolated to make quantitative and qualitative information usually exploited by insiders, lobbyists or experts only, accessible to everyone. Thanks to Open Parlamento you can follow the activity of an MP or the course of a bill or motion step by step and keep tuned on everything that happens in the Parliament on the topics of your choice, from waste to education, from Afghanistan to the smallest Italian municipality. You can daily see who is in, what is being done, read debates, see how MPs vote, what’s coming up in Parliament, and sign up for email alerts or updates on your personal user page when there’s activity on someone or something you’re interested in.

We also produce an annual report, called Camere Aperte (Open the Houses of the Parliament), which presents our independent account of one year of Italian politics. Camere Aperte is followed with great interest and participation by Openpolis members, by passionate, enraged, engaged and critical citizens but also by the Italian politicians involved in its preparation. Camere Aperte is linked to The Parliamentary Productivity Index, which aggregates data on single politicians to show the intensity of their activity in the parliamentary debate and legislative action. The website allows for the main data included in the report to be constantly updated and offers a unique database for data-driven journalism.

We would like to bring Open Parlamento to Italian municipalities to make the local governments and political-administrative activity more transparent, more open and accountable to citizens. In this case, Open Municipio (Open Municipality), will draw on official political-administrative data provided by those municipalities that will join in the project. Data will be disseminated in an open format and will thus provide citizens with information and monitoring services for their active participation in their own municipality. In general, we want to increase the opportunity for dialogue between citizens and their representatives in central and local governments and contribute to constantly and effectively push institutions of government and individual politicians to adopt the rules of transparency.

Moreover, we are working on Open Bilanci (Open Budgets), a transparency project on the budgets of more than 8000 Italian municipalities that draws from a huge wealth of public data, the archives of the last ten years finally accessible to the general public.

We are also developing a web platform to support social initiatives (law suits, petitions, class actions) based on a certified communication channel with the decision-makers: we identify the claimants, we certify their consent and track the communication with the decision-makers. Action Aid Italia is our partner in this project.

In the near future, we aim at extending our action to the administrative process and focus the lens of transparency on the functioning of public administrations, often made opaque by bureaucracy and inaccessible procedures. We free data of public interest to develop services that can improve our lives.

How do we support these initiatives?

To guarantee the independence of our websites, we do not host advertising. This choice makes our project stronger, but our existence harder.

1) You can support us through subscriptions and donations. Convincing a sufficient number of people of the need for Openpolis and finding them willing to contribute as members or donors, makes our effort credible and sustainable. If you, too, feel this need, you can choose to subscribe, work with us, make a donation to Openpolis.

2) We support ourselves through the information services linked to our platforms (data feed, data extraction and analysis, political analysis) and we offer our professional experience to media and institutions through Deep srl, a company you will occasionally see on the pages of this website.

About our method

We practice transparency. We offer tools for you to access data and understand information of public interest. We work so that information produced and handled by the public administration, paid by citizens and concerning citizens themselves, become available and understood by the many instead of the few. Public data is in itself a common good that must be shared with and participated by everyone.

We free data trapped in closed formats and in desk drawers or inaccessible simply because they are presented according to a bureaucratic instead of a user’s logic and language. In some cases, administrations followed: the Senate of the Republic, for example, published senators’ vote attendance after the data were being regularly published by Open Parlamento.

We promot direct participation. Once data become accessible, official information is integrated and associated to information provided by citizens to give rise to a richer and more complete platform, where citizens are not only end users but they can also partially be information producers. This is how Open Politici has become the most updated Italian register of elected officials.

We contribute to reduce the information gap between rulers and ruled. Dialogue between representatives and represented can go beyond election time and a continuous and direct monitoring of the work of the elected, a constant comparison between commitments made, decisions taken and results delivered, makes our democracy more alive.

Associazione Openpolis
via degli Equi 42
00185 Roma T. +39.0683608392


And initiatives like OpenPolis show that it can generate value: row data on Italian elective offices provided by the institutions in a disorderly manner, are reprocessed by OpenPolis in order to give a transparent and clear view on who are the elected officials for each area of the country and what they do. Five people work there and their budget is fine. They set an example.

Il Sole 24 Ore, November 27, 2011

The ranking of deadbeat MPs in the survey by OpenPolis. After having rocked the political world with the rankings of attendance and the monitoring of the work of deputies and senators, Openpolis returns to the fray with a new assessment tool, the Parliamentary Productivity Index.

L’Espresso, March 3, 2011