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Open Spending Data in Constrained Environment


There is a lack of open spending data in where government budgets and spending for governments at all three levels of Malaysian government; federal, state and municipality. Based on international evaluation platform of open data standards such as the Open Data Barometer and the Global Open Data Index, the state of open data Malaysia is at the lowest score among Southeast Asia countries with the absence of open data policies and FOIA at the federal level. This low score reflects the state of readiness of government for providing online and offline services, transparency and accountability. However, there are budgets published at Federal level and Freedom of Information Enactments (FOIE) in two states; Selangor and Penang.

Public housing in Selangor is a good case study to capture data at multiple levels while tying with community development and rights­ based issues such as gender­ based violence, vandalism, crime, urban poverty, healthcare, accessibility, security and safety. 


  1. Making government information transparent.
  2. Access to elected representatives and decision makers.
  3. Improvement of quality of life of disenfranchised communities.


  1. Poverty rate.
  2. Employment rate.
  3. Crime rate.
  4. Literacy rate.
  5. Child mortality rate.
  6. Global Open Data Index Survey 2015 for Malaysia at the national level for budgets and expenditures.
  7. Open Data Barometer.


  1. Increase engagement of disenfranchised communities in the budgeting process.
  2. To help disenfranchised communities to hold government accountable for budget priorities and expenditures. 


  1. Open Spending
  2. Social audit

Issues That Will Be Covered

  1. Accessibility facilities for people with disabilities and elderly
  2. Infrastructure development
  3. Security
  4. Safety
  5. Health coverage and supervision
  6. Education coverage and supervision such as primary and secondary school enrollment among children, teenagers and teen­-adults.
  7. Welfare coverage and supervision for families living in poverty threshold. 


  • Kota Damansara, Selangor, Malaysia

Intermediary & Implementing Partner

  1. Safer Kids
  2. Residents Association of PPR Flats of Kota Damansara

Resource Partner

  1. Friends of Kota Damansara (FoKD)


  1. People with disabilities, including elderly
  2. Single parents
  3. Unemployed adults/teen-adults
  4. Children and teenage youths with improper access to education
  5. Families below poverty threshold

Example of Social Audit in Kenya

The work of social audit in Kenya have inspired us to conduct the same ground-up approach here in Malaysia.

Deliverable list

  1. 1 contact list from 1 municipality council in 10 departments to be published as open data in Malaysian CSO open data portal.

  2. 1 contact list from 1 state government in 5 departments to be published as open data in Malaysian CSO open data portal.

  3. Federal government, 1 state government and 1 municipality council budgets from 2015 to 2016 to be made available to the public as open data in Open Spending website.

  4. 1 research note on priorities and issues of CSOs and disenfranchised communities. The outcome from urban poverty survey of socio-economic indicators in Kota Damansara public housing will be included in this note.

  5. A 5 minutes video about urban poverty of public housing in Kota Damansara.

  6. 1 photo blog.

  7. 1 online and offline issue reporting platform for the community.

  8. 1 research note on data from issues reports against budget categories and quality of life issues.

  9. 10 people of community leaders and CSO representatives trained to collect issues reports.

  10. 3 blogs on key progress updates that covers open spending data, FOIE and social audit.

  11. 1 website of join up data with Open Spending visualisation, FOIE, popit, contracts, issues and social audit.

Contact us

Our team based in Malaysia. We love discussing project ideas and challenges. Drop us a line at 

Support This Project

Grant by

Support by

Open Knowledge Foundation

Support this project

Making monetary contributions for this project is easy. You can make a bank transfer or deposit to the following account:

BANK Malayan Banking Berhad 
ACCOUNT 512307614259

Please indicate in email to  that your donation is in support specifically for this project "Open Spending Data in Constrained Environments"

Project Team

Hazwany (Nany) Jamaluddin, Project Officer (Data)


Tan Sze Ming, Programme Officer

Michael Leow, Web Developer

Michael Leow

Fong Peng Lim, Community Resource Person (Safer Kids)

Syuhada Norman, Research on Open Data & Policy

Syuhada Norman

Project Timeframe


1st December 2015


30th April 2016