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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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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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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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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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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