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About Transparent Chennai

Transparent Chennai aggregates, creates and disseminates data and research about important civic issues facing Chennai, including those issues facing the poor. Our work aims to empower residents by providing them useful, easy-to-understand information that can better highlight citizen needs, shed light on government performance, and improve their lives in the city, one issue at a time. Our goal is to enable residents, especially the poor, to have a greater voice in planning and city governance.

Our work is unique because we actually create maps and data to understand issues facing city residents. We believe that a lack of data has sometimes allowed for government to evade its responsibilities to provide basic entitlements to all city residents, and to exercise force with impunity over informal settlements and workers. We work closely with individuals and citizens’ groups to create data that can help them counter inaccurate or incomplete government data, and make better claims on the government for their rights and entitlements.

Some of our data is available in the form of interactive maps, which can be layered on top of one another to contextualize information. Mapping can provide useful information to citizens, identify gaps in government data, create insights into policymaking, help create more accountability for elected representatives and bureaucracies, and help residents to “think spatially” at a time of rapid urbanization.

Our team members also conduct in-depth research into select issues of importance in the city. We have conducted research into urban governance, electoral accountability, participatory planning processes, pedestrian issues, slums, sanitation, and solid waste management, details about all of which can be found on the site.

We regularly disseminate our data and research through our website, blog, mailing list, publications, meetings with citizens, researchers, and policymakers, in conferences, and through the media, in both English and in Tamil.

We encourage residents of Chennai to join us in our work by partnering with us to make data that can help you in your advocacy, joining our mailing list, attending our meetings, contributing to our blog and to our ongoing data collection efforts, and visiting the website regularly to see updates.