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Today, we’re pleased to release a white paper on how OpenCorporates data was used to uncover the powerful elite benefiting from Myanmar’s multi-billion dollar jade industry, in a ground-breaking report from Global Witness. This investigation is an important case study on how open company data and identifiers are critical tool to uncover corruption and the links between companies and the real people benefitting from it.

This white paper shows how not only was it critical that OpenCorporates had this information (much of the information was removed from the official register during the investigation), but that the fact that it was machine-readable data, available via an API (data service), and programmatically combinable with other data was essential to discover the hidden connections between the key actors and the jade industry. Global Witness was able to analyse this data with the help of Open Knowledge.

In this white paper, we make recommendations about the collection and publishing of statutory company information as open data to facilitate the creation of a hostile environment for corruption by providing a rigorous framework for public scrutiny and due diligence.

You can find the white paper here or read it on Medium.

The report has received wide coverage in the international media with mentions in  Wall Street Journal, Guardian, BBC, New York Times, Reuters, Wired, ABC, AP, and AFP. It has also been widely received in the local press in Myanmar.

Picture “Jade Market in Mandalay” by Binder.donedat, Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/ehJjxV (CC BY-ND 2.0).

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