Data governance

Religion and law, city responses to COVID-19, data governance… and more – The Markup

Data is plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated May 18, 2022, has been republished with permission from the author.

Religion and government. To compile the Government Religious Preferences Dataset, the researchers examined primary documents and secondary sources “to obtain information on the existence, origin, change or abandonment of a law or policy directed against” one of the 30 faiths nuns in more than 200 countries. Then they assessed the extent to which these policies reflected institutional favor or disfavor through 28 variables, themselves grouped into “five broad components of state religion”: official status, financial aid, regulatory charges, Religious educationand free exercise. The project provides individual and composite scores for each country-year denomination, from 1800 through 2015. Religious demographics at the national levelfrom the same principal investigators. [h/t Ariel Zellman and Davis Brown]

Municipal responses to the pandemic. the National League of CitiesMonitoring of local actions describes itself as “the most comprehensive collection of municipal responses to COVID-19”. It contains information on more than 4,800 policies undertaken or planned in approximately 800 U.S. cities between February 2020 and February 2022, showing the date of each response, policy area (e.g., housing, utilities, vaccinations), the type of action (e.g. order, emergency declaration), a brief description, etc. [h/t Joshua Pine]

Open data governance. To develop the Global Data Barometera network of local experts and regional organizations assessed “the state of data for the public good” in 109 countries between May 2019 and May 2021. The first results of the project, published last week as a report and downloadable datasetreflect over 60,000 of their observations, which focused on data governance and abilitiesmore the availability and use of data on specific topicsas public finance, climate actionand company ownership. [h/t cat cortes]

European prison populations. the Council of Europe publish annual statistical reports on prison populations and institutions, based on surveys sent to its Member States. The council publishes most of the data only in PDF reports, but does not provide HTML tables the number of detainees at the national level and the capacity of the establishments from 2018 to 2022. As seen in An analysis by Civio.es of pre-trial detention ratesfor which reporters extracted (and shared) the number of untried and unconvicted detainees at the start of 2021. [h/t Olaya Argüeso Pérez]

Banknote people. The Visual Essay”Who’s in your wallet?examines the famous faces that appear on the paper currency of 38 countries. To do this, Alejandra Arevalo and Eric Hausken build a dataset describing 279 person-ticket combinations. It lists the currency and value of the note, as well as the name, gender, occupation, first year on the note, year of death, etc. Related: Lists of people on Wikipedia banknotes and on parts.


Note: Unlike most of our content, this edition of Data Is Plural by Jeremy Singer-Vine is not available for republication under a Creative Commons license.