Nouwweb: An Open, Online Directory of Lebanon’s MPs

To promote civic engagement in Lebanon, Marc Farra from Lamba Labs and the SMEX team developed a new tool called Nouwweb that lets people easily access essential public information about the members of parliament who represent them. The tool is meant to be a first step in encouraging more frequent and open exchange between MPs and their constituents.

Nouwweb organizes basic information—collected from publicly available sources—for each of the 128 deputies, including district, sect, party, official phone and mobile numbers, and social media accounts. A simple interface lets anyone search for this information by name, sect, party, district, or social media presence.

As an open-data initiative, Nouwweb is meant to lay the ground work for others, who can build on the data via an open API (API stands for application programming interface) to create visualizations (like this one from the Sunlight Foundation of the U.S. Senate) and other tools that can facilitate citizens’ understanding of and participation in the Lebanese political process.