Information on the countries and regions that Overton collected data from
We set out to try and make a global policy database and around one hundred and eighty countries are represented in the database, with documents in dozens of languages, though the number of documents from some locations is very low.
There are more documents from more developed countries than elsewhere.
You can get a feel for where our sources come from by logging in to the app and clicking on the “Sources” tab, which shows how many sources from each country are being collected. The screenshot below is from March 2020.
In March 2020 around 60% of the documents in Overton were from the US, UK, Japan, Canada, Germany or France. Another 10% were from international organizations (IGOs like the World Bank, United Nations or the OECD).
There are a few different reasons for this:
- Think tanks and NGOs are heavily concentrated in London, Washington D.C, New York and Brussels: around 25% of the documents in Overton are from these kinds of sources
- Governments are online to different degrees: some governments don’t have the infrastructure needed to make documents available online, or have other priorities. The UK and Australia are great at making policy related material available quickly online, Chad isn’t
- Many of our users are looking for local policy impact: in the US and parts of Europe we collect data at a state level as it’s important for the institutions we support. In most other countries we’re focused at the national government level
- Local knowledge: sometimes we miss an important policy source because we’re not familiar with the way systems work in a particular country. If you think we’re missing something useful please let us know