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WikiRate.org
Dec 19, 2019 · 4 min read

WikiRate is a collaborative platform that makes it possible for anyone to ask and answer questions about the social and environmental impacts of companies.

Covering a broad range of topics, sectors, and companies, there is an enormous wealth of information on the WikiRate platform, which we need to effectively address the intricate web of issues.

But for these data to have the fullest possible impact, they have to reach people who can put them to use.

Communities organized around specific datasets or topics, such as modern slavery, climate change or supply chain transparency, must be able to pull out the questions and answers of interest to them and present them in a form that works for their members.

With its open data structure and it’s RESTful API, WikiRate.org makes it easy to develop widgets: dynamic interfaces that function like a window through which your community can engage with a specific dataset or research topic.

Different types of widgets are possible such as search or data visualizations tools (graphs, charts, maps) and they can be tailored to an audience. The widget developed by Clean Clothes Campaign, for instance, allows users to search for a factory and learn what brands it supplies. Live data comes directly via the WikiRate API.

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Source code: https://github.com/wikirate/wikirate-ccc

Widgets are useful not only for targeted data consumption, they too can be helpful when looking to engage a community in data collection effort.

Recent work from Public Eye showcases how connecting their volunteer community to WikiRate, through their widget, is bringing rich new research into this global repository of corporate performance data.


Case Study: Collaborative Research Widget

Inequality and wage exploitation can be found throughout the global supply chains of the garment industry. To bring the issue of wage transparency out into the open, Public Eye (coordinating the Clean Clothes Campaign in Switzerland) set up a crowd research project that would enable their community of volunteers to go beyond the usual consumer activism like voting with their wallets and petitioning, and invited them to collectively help answer the question: How transparent are clothing companies about wages in their supply chain?

Using WikiRate’s API, Public Eye built a multilingual widget which asked volunteer researchers to answer questions about the wage policies of apparel companies from around the world.

These questions addressed whether the company 1) made statements about living wages on their website, 2) had a concrete action plan or strategy for paying living wages in their supply chain, 3) publicized information about its factories and suppliers, and 4) made available details of the wages that their workers are paid.

To date, volunteers have crowd-researched 300 companies and brands in the fashion and apparel sector on wage transparency in supply chains.

Their easily accessible widget clearly shows the data gaps and allows users to add companies or brands that were not part of the original research. Public Eye organized a series of live research events, to bring volunteers together to contribute research while raising awareness about the topic.

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Public Eye crowd research widget

The call for participation had a great response and brought together volunteers from Switzerland and beyond to investigate wage inequality in the garment industry.

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© 2019 Public Eye / Mark Henley all rights reserved

The researched data has been uploaded to WikiRate.org, to create a shared database on wage transparency which is accessible for all to use. Public Eye has made the widget code accessible for adaptations, please get in touch if you are interested.

“We decided to use WikiRate to ensure our research extends to a broad audience and can be used by others. Working with WikiRate was an outstanding experience. The team was supportive and available. The crowd-research campaign enabled volunteers to generate valuable data for research and campaigning, thus advancing our commitment to ensure better working conditions in the fashion industry.” — Public Eye


Interested in developing your dynamic data widget?

Explore labs.wikirate.org, our new community site for developers to share code, ideas, resources, and feedback. Or write to us at info@wikirate.org — we’d be happy to help develop a data interface that allows you to engage your community in the most impactful way.

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