How a crowdsourced FOI campaign improved EU transparency
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After years of FOI requests and appeals, a campaign to release EU commissioners’ travel expenses, finally found success through a co-ordinated crowdsourcing campaign.

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Transforming an industry through FOI
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FragDenStaat’s FOI campaign rallied members of the public to request food safety reports from their local authorities. It’s resulted in 100 court cases, and new legislation around food safety.

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Lost in Europe: deploying the Alaveteli network on a cross-border investigation
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Ten European FOI sites were used in an Netherlands-based investigation, Lost In Europe, into the thousands of children who go missing as they migrate across European borders.

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Regulating Access to Information
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Comparing different systems of regulation that work in the UK, and systems of regulation across Europe.

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Running an Access to Information platform in France: obstacles and success stories
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Samuel Goëta from MaDada speaks about the weaknesses of FOIA in France, how the French Alaveteli platform madada.fr manages them and the first success stories of the platform.

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How to make an FOI request using Alaveteli
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A short video walk through of making an FOI request.

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Responding to and managing an FOI request with Alaveteli
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What an authority sees when they receive your FOI request, how they can respond and how the request-maker can manage a response once it is received.

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Making and sending a batch request using Alaveteli Pro
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See how to make a batch Freedom of Information request to multiple authorities, using the Alaveteli Pro service.

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Dashboard and Batch request replies on Alaveteli Pro
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View the Alaveteli Pro dashboard, and see what happens when the responses come in from a batch Freedom of Information request to multiple authorities.

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How to use FOI in the UK
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Workshop presentation on using FOI in the UK.

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What can you do with FOI in the UK?
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Short workshop on some of the things that have been made possible through UK FOI requests.

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The FOI Clearing House: an openDemocracy investigation into FOI at the heart of government
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Jenna Corderoy discusses her investigations into the Clearing House, a unit within the UK Cabinet Office that “advises on” and “coordinates” FOI requests referred by government departments.

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Watch this space (and pay for it): the misuse of public resources in an election campaign
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In April 2021, Gong used the Alaveteli-powered platform ImamoPravoZnati to unveil misuse of public funds for political campaigns.

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Running an Access to Information platform in France: obstacles and success stories
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Samuel Goëta from MaDada speaks about the weaknesses of FOIA in France, how the French Alaveteli platform madada.fr manages them and the first success stories of the platform.

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A change in the law for school starters in Scotland — through FOI
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The Give Them Time campaign speaks about how requests sent via WhatDoTheyKnow.com helped them get the law changed, so that more children in Scotland can benefit from more time at nursery school.

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Source & manage Freedom of Information data for impactful investigations & campaigns with Alaveteli
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How Alaveteli’s additional features for journalists, campaigners and researchers have been used to support impactful and award winning investigations.

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Getting the Most from FOI
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Basic tips and trips for ensuring your FOI requests get full and adequate responses.

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Telling stories with FOI data
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Ilya Siatitsa of Privacy International, Isaac Beevor of Climate Emergency UK and freelance journalist Rosie Taylor explain how to get media coverage for the stories you uncover via FOI.

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Using Pro features: Dashboard and Batch request replies
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View the Alaveteli Pro dashboard, and see what happens when the responses come in from a batch Freedom of Information request to multiple authorities.

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Advice for those setting up an Alaveteli Freedom of Information site
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Users of the Alaveteli Freedom of Information (FOI) software from around the world give their top tips for setting up a FOI request site.

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Motivations for setting up an Alaveteli Freedom of Information website
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Users of the Alaveteli software from around the world explain their motivations behind setting up their Freedom of Information request sites.

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Challenges of running Freedom of Information request sites
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In this video, users of the Alaveteli Freedom of Information (FOI) software from around the world explain the challenges of running FOI request sites in their countries.

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Freedom of Information rights around the world
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Users of the Alaveteli Freedom of Information (FOI) software from around the world explain the FOI laws in their countries.

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Meet The Users: Gavin Chait, part 1
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Gavin Chait used Freedom of Information to ask every local authority in the UK to provide data on empty business premises.

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Meet The Users: Gavin Chait, part 2
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Part 2 of the interview in which Gavin explains his project to make things easier for start-ups.

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Staying protected: How to avoid lawsuits in the age of user-generated content
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Open data expert Francis Davey delivers training on the UK’s Defamation Act and how this affects those running websites featuring user-generated content.

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WhatDoTheyKnow Helps Re-Open Cambridge Footpath
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A practical example of how to use FOI to bring change in your local area.

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FOI advice: shorts
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Very short excerpts from the longer ‘Getting the most from FOI’ seminar.

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Telling stories with FOI data: shorts
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Excerpts from the longer seminar.

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Telling stories with FOI data: summary
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A written account of the seminar which you can also see in video form.

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Getting the Most from FOI: summary
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A written account of the seminar which you can also see in video form.

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Creating datasets from FOI data
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A written account of the seminar which you can also see in video form.

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Using Access to Information to Support Social Change
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A look at how organisations which support marginalised communities use and request information from public bodies, what the information unlocks and how to better support this use of access to information.

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You can use WhatDoTheyKnow for the good of the climate
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How to use FOI for environmental action.

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WhatDoTheyKnow and the Post Office Horizon scandal
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How one woman used FOI to uncover details of a massive scandal in the UK.

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Mapping the online Access To Information network in Europe
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Research on running an Access to Information requesting website in Europe, looking at the challenges faced by organisations, strengths and success stories.

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Exploring information about Freedom of Information in the UK
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Discover statistics on Freedom of Information in UK central government and in Scotland.

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FOI and appeals to the regulator
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Data on how many internal reviews result in some form of new information being released.

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What are environmental information requests and how do they differ in Scotland?
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An in depth explanation of EIR.

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How many people use Freedom of Information?
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Trying to understand the percentage of the population who use FOI.

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Research into mySociety’s online Freedom of Information platform, Alaveteli
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In what circumstances, if any, can the Freedom of Information tools mySociety builds be shown to have measurable impacts on the ability of citizens to exert power over under-performing institutions?

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Do authorities respond faster by email or through an FOI website?
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Research showing that online portals result in faster responses from authorities.

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What People Want To Know on WhatDoTheyKnow
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Research into the topics of FOI requests sent through WhatDoTheyKnow.

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CE UK and mySociety are using people power and Freedom of Information to bring transparency to local climate action
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A small charity was able to gather significant data around councils and carbon reduction, by sending mass FOI requests and using volunteers’ help to analyse them.

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FOI helps campaigns — sometimes in unexpected ways
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How FOI was used to help save a local athletics track in a London borough.

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How many rubber bands the Royal Mail uses, and other amazing facts revealed through FOI
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Nice examples of FOI being deployed in order to answer a variety of questions.

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Freedom of Information uncovers inequalities in our schooling system
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How FOI can be used to challenge misinformation in advertisements.

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Revealing vital environmental information with WhatDoTheyKnow Pro
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How a journalist uncovered important details of anti-climate lobbying to the UK government with FOI.

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Opening up government ministers’ meetings with lobbyists
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Discover a tool from Transparency International UK, which helps people ask for more details of meetings between MPs and lobbyists.

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FOI and Chinese CCTV cameras
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How charity Big Brother Watch brought about a change in the law, using FOI.

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Challenging public bodies who refuse to accept FOI requests by email
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Some authorities ask you to resubmit your FOI request via their own channels: this practice is illegal.

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How ForSet are spreading the word about Freedom of Information in Georgia
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Learn how the Georgian Alaveteli site AskGov.ge uses their skills in infographics to spread the word about FOI further.

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A transparency success in Belgium
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See how Transparencia.be, the Belgian Alaveteli site, published a map and made councils change their ways.

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Business Improvement Districts on WhatDoTheyKnow
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Find out what BIDs are, what they do, and what sort of FOI requests might be usefully made to them.

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Want to know more about sewage? Use WhatDoTheyKnow.com
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Which authorities might you send FOI requests to, to obtain useful information about water pollution and quality?

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Freedom of Information as a tool for making cycle routes more accessible
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Using FOI in combination with the Equality Act of 2010 can have impressive results.

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Lost in Europe: a cross-border investigation into missing children
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A written account of the project which tracked missing minors at European borders.

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What they don’t know: “information not held” responses
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Don’t despair if you receive ‘information not held’ in response to your FOI requests: this can be useful information in itself.

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Don’t let the auto-responses worry you
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A look at some of the common auto-responses from authorities, and why they aren’t as worrying as they may seem.

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From the horse’s mouth: chatting to MaDada
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Read about the experiences of MaDada, the French Alaveteli site.

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Introducing WhatDoTheyKnow Projects
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Discover our tools for collaborating across a team on large FOI projects.

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Who’s checking your Facebook profile?
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Privacy International used FOI to understand how authorities are accessing social media accounts to screen job applicants, court defendants, protestors and recipients of benefits.

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Learn everything you need to know about FOI, online
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Link to a training course from The Ferret.

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Using FOI to protect social housing and council property
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Freedom of Information was one tool used in a coordinated campaign to prevent a council from selling off a large part of its property portfolio.

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Exporting data from your batch FOI requests
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A step by step explainer on how to get data out of Pro.

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Freedom of Information and mental health in Higher Education staff
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A widespread FOI project to learn more about the state of mental health in higher ed.

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FOI reveals that Higher Education Institutes spend more than £330 million on access to research journals
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How a librarian uncovered facts about the costs of research journals across our educational institutions.

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Has your FOI request been used in a news story? Now you can let everyone know.
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How to add a link from your FOI request/s on WhatDoTheyKnow to any news stories or research where they’ve been cited.

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When the response doesn’t come: dealing with FOI requests that haven’t received an answer
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The channels available to you if you don’t receive a response within the allocated time.

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FOI helps reveal the new surveillance tools deployed by police
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Privacy International uncovered a wealth of information about new technologies being put into use by UK police forces, in advance of any regulation.

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Taking Parliament to court: how Vouliwatch pursued the right to transparency
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Greek project Vouliwatch found themselves in the extraordinary position of issuing a lawsuit to their own parliament.

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FragDenStaat: a lighthearted approach with a serious mission
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The German FOI site is well-known for publicity stunts and thinking outside the box, all in the pursuit of transparency.

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AlaveteliCon 2019
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Follow the links to discover notes and slides about each of the sessions in this 2019 gathering of the international FOI community.

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Sharing is Caring
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An argument for journalists putting data into the public domain after their story has broken.

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A Million Moments for Democracy: using FOI to campaign against corruption
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From Czech Republic, learn how to leverage FOI sites to mobilise support, and to encourage citizens to engage in the democratic process.

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A change in the law for school starters in Scotland — through FOI
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We spoke to Patricia Anderson from the Give Them Time campaign about how Freedom of Information requests, sent via WhatDoTheyKnow, helped them get the law changed.

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How you’ve been using our services to help the climate
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Some examples of how to leverage mySociety sites, including WhatDoTheyKnow, to help fight the climate emergency.

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FOI and the Irish border issue
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Prior to Brexit, one person used FOI to understand more about plans around the Irish border – something that did, indeed, prove to be a big problem after the event.

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After Exploitation: using FOI to understand what happens to victims of modern slavery
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A dogged investigation reveals that survivors of modern slavery are not being given the treatment the government claims they are.

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Sold From Under You by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism
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Discover this widespread investigation into how much property was sold by local councils in an attempt to raise money during austerity.

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Using WhatDoTheyKnow to uncover how schoolchildren’s data was used to support the Hostile Environment
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Charity defenddigitalme discovered that personal information of school children was being used by the government to help locate those suspected of being in the country without leave to remain.

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My FOI request’s been refused — so, what now?
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A walk-through of the options available to you when you receive a refusal to your FOI request.

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Why having the Right To Know matters
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Links to examples from around the world of where FOI has been used to make a difference.

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Now you can ask coroners to provide information, through WhatDoTheyKnow
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Learn about the types of information you might request from coroners, and how it can be used.

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Use your rights: The People’s Audit sheds light on council finances
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Thanks to the Local Audit and Accountability Act we all have the right to examine our council’s accounts for a set period each year.

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FOI: one part of the fight against the ‘lose-lose’ LOBO loans to local councils
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An investigation into controversial loans sold to councils by banks, known as LOBOs, by the group Debt Resistance UK.

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How local newspapers uncover council spending using FOI
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These examples might give you ideas for the types of information you can request.

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Truth & justice for haemophiliacs: WhatDoTheyKnow and the contaminated blood scandal
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A first-person account of uncovering evidence that brought to light a national scandal in the UK.

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Sending multiple FOI requests: the WhatDoTheyKnow Pro batch feature
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How the batch feature works on Pro.

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Memorable FOI requests from WhatDoTheyKnow’s first ten years
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Gain inspiration from some of the most impactful requests that our team can remember.

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Croatia gets creative with Alaveteli
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Code for Croatia repurposed the Alaveteli codebase to make a complaints platform.

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50 news stories uncovered by WhatDoTheyKnow’s users
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On WhatDoTheyKnow’s 10th anniversary, we looked at some of the news stories large and small that have been found through FOI requests on the site.

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ATOS, Capita, PIP… and some persistent FOI requests
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A disability campaigner unearthed truths about eligibility criteria for state benefits.

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Introducing OPRAmachine: tackling political corruption in New Jersey
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This Alaveteli installation covers just one American state. The local journalist who runs the site explains the rationale behind it, and gives advice to others wanting to do similar.

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A successful first year – how Transparencia launched with a splash
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Learn from Belgium’s Alaveteli site, which has been and remains very good at attracting publicity.

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WhatDoTheyKnow used for research on FOI refusals
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Link to an article about best and worst practices in FOI refusals.

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Six stories from WhatDoTheyKnow Pro
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Links to news stories unearthed by journalists using the Pro tool.

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NHS Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships on WhatDoTheyKnow
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Find out what these NHS bodies do, and what sorts of information you might ask them for.

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Is your local authority making life difficult for wheelchair users?
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A disability activist finds the data that shows where taxis are allowed to charge more for carrying wheelchairs – or refuse to take them at all.

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Introducing QueremosDatos: making access to information easier in Colombia
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Interview with the group who set up the Alaveteli site for Colombia.

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The Welsh Government and Aston Martin: the timeline of a delayed response
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Follow along with the 15-month saga to see what happens when you take a refusal to the ICO.

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Right To Know: the long path to Rights of Way data
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This request for open mapping data encountered frustrations and successes along the way.

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Now you can request information from the Police Federation of England and Wales
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Discover what this body does, and what kind of information you can request from it.

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Crowdsourcing information on EU commissioners’ travel expenses
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Alaveteli site AskTheEU called upon their followers to help request the travel expenses of EU Commissioners.

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Alaveteli for campaigners: How to create pre-written requests for your supporters
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A little-known method for helping followers to make requests to authorities.

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Detention Logs: using FOI to reveal the truth about immigration detention in Australia
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Australian project Detention Logs is showing the power of FOI in bringing social change.

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Freedom of Information and asbestos in schools
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One woman’s campaign to rid the UK’s schools of asbestos.

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Workfare: what happens when the government doesn’t want to release information?
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Despite the government’s reluctance, FOI was used to reveal details of a controversial back-to-work scheme.

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How 350 FOI requests will increase the chance of success for start-ups
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Learn how mass FOI requests were used to discover information around empty shops, to help new businesses.

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The small symbol that tells you all is well
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An explanation of the ‘proof of receipt’ icon on Alaveteli.

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Does your council break the law?
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FOI is used to research pay conditions for overnight care workers.

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West Ham stadium ruling: a win for transparency
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A ruling compels a high-profile football stadium to release its contract with West Ham football club.

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Publishing responses to FOI requests ‘should be the norm’, says government commission on Freedom of Information
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Learn how WhatDoTheyKnow made a difference through its campaigning and advocacy for FOI.

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WhatDoTheyKnow as fact-checker
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In the era of misinformation, FOI can be used to not only discover, but also share, the truth.

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Commission on Freedom of Information oral evidence: making a case for public disclosure
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Discover the arguments made in favour of FOI – they might be applicable elsewhere.

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What happens when you restrict Freedom of Information? Experiences from around the world
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Examples from nine countries of the effects of restricting Access to Information.

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Using FOI to uncover the truth about the living wage
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One man’s campaign to ascertain whether carers were being paid a living wage by a care home that claimed to be committed to that.

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Learnings from AlaveteliCon (2): the challenges are the same
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After AlaveteliCon 2015, a round-up of the common challenges of running an FOI site that are the same no matter which country you are working in.

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Ten ways to promote Alaveteli sites
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Advice on how to bring more users to your FOI site.

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Assessing the Impact of Alaveteli
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Researchers Savita Bailur and Tom Longley answer this question: “In what circumstances, if any, can the FOI tools mySociety builds be shown to have measurable impacts on the ability of citizens to exert power over underperforming institutions?”

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Subscribe to FOI requests on any topic
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Instructions for how to receive an email whenever someone uses your chosen keyword/s in a request.

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How to keep up with hot topics in your local area
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Step by step walkthrough on how to follow a specific authority on an Alaveteli site, so that you get an email every time someone makes an FOI request to them.

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How to make a Freedom of Information request with WhatDoTheyKnow
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Never made an FOI request before? Start with these simple instructions.

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The Third Sector and Online Citizen Empowerment: the Case of mySociety
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Surveys across all mySociety’s sites, including WhatDoTheyKnow, allowed these researchers to better understand the habits and motives of their users.

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Qué Sabes: Changing the face of FOI requesting in Uruguay
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An interview with DATA, the organisation running an Alaveteli site in Uruguay.

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Asking for information in the face of silence
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What’s it like running an Alaveteli site in a country where FOI is not a right? Learn from Spain.

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Strategy and Planning for FOI Sites
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Datasketch (Colombia), SPOON (Netherlands) and Pidala.info (Mexico) all run websites that help people get information from public authorities. In this video, they talk about their approach to this, and how they’ve built and grown their work in very different ways.

This meeting was part of mySociety’s Access to Information Community of Practice, which is part of the TICTeC programme.

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