@colabora_bot is a robot created by the Brazilian vehicle of open data and government transparency Colaboradados. @colabora_bot is the interlocutor of a project of verification of the Brazilian governmental transparency. Through a large data base with all transparency portals belonging to Brazilian governmental agencies, the robot monitors which of these portals have been presenting downtime issues or have been deleted. On Twitter and Mastodon, he warns his followers, and also the government agency responsible for the site, that the government information and warns the bodies of the irregularity.
The technology we use in the robot allows us to save in a second database all the monitoring performed. In this way, it is possible to account for how long the portals have been offline, as well as to know which were the public agencies that most disrespected the Brazilian Access to Information Law.
What makes this project innovative?
@colabora_bot is a monitoring tool for Brazilian government transparency. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that public data under the administration of the Brazilian government add up without prior notice. Journalists, researchers and those who cherish government transparency are often confronted with the lack of preparation of public bodies in the delivery of public information. @colabora_bot is not only a monitoring tool for society, but also for the enforcement agencies of the Law that governs access to public data. Its innovation is precisely this: to be an informational and also research tool, in search of democratization and the advance in Brazilian governmental transparency.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
As an open source project, the initiative becomes 100% transparent and replicable. Nevertheless, by being a collaborative effort, this project can make be approached by anyone in the civil society. In this manner we can say that we achieved success every time someone inputs a new portal for us to keep checking, or makes a request on our codes that makes the robot more efficient. Success, for us, is to keep the society as the guardians of transparency.
Source and methodology
With the help of a collaborative network of people that submit links of governmental transparency portals, Colaboradados feeds a database of links to the robot so it can do its work. @colabora_bot then accesses each URL of the database and finds out if they are online. If some of the government portals are not accessible at the moment, @colabora_bot reaches out to its followers on their Twitter profile and Mastodon social network, asking them to mention the agents responsible for administering the sites for clarification. On a separated database, @colabora_bot logs each of the failed attempts. In this way, the bot produces its own database so that it can be accessed by journalists, the government and society in general to analyse the data.
@colabora_bot is developed in Python and its data is collected and aggregated in an Google Sheets.
Judite Cypreste, João Ernane, Ana Paula Mendes and Letícia Silva.