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OpenSanctions aggregates and provides a comprehensive open-source database of sanctions data, politically exposed persons, and related entities. Key functionalities in this codebase include:

  • Parsing of raw source data.
  • Cleaning and standardization of data structures.
  • Deduplication to maintain data integrity.
  • Exporting the data into a variety of output formats.

We build on top of the Follow the Money framework, a JSON-focused anti-corruption data model, as the schema for all our crawlers. FtM data is then optionally exposed to simplified formats like CSV.

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Collaborate with us in Development


At the heart of our project is a crawler framework dubbed zavod. To activate the project, you have the option to employ either docker-compose.yml or the Makefile.

For an enriched experience backed by extensive documentation, we recommend opting for the Makefile. More details can be found in the zavod documentation.

Environment Setup

  1. Database Initialization:

zavod can use a database in order to cache information from the data sources. Launch a terminal and set up your database with:

docker compose up -d db
  1. Project Building:

Next, commence the build process with:

make build
# Alternatively, for direct execution:
docker-compose build --pull

Deploying the Crawler

Kickstart the crawling process with:

# This zeroes in on the dataset located in the datasets directory
docker compose run --rm app zavod crawl datasets/de/abgeordnetenwatch/de_abgeordnetenwatch.yml

Associated Repositories

  • opensanctions/nomenklatura: building on top of FollowTheMoney, nomenklatura provides a framework for storing data statements with full data lineage, and for integrating entity data from multiple sources. It also handles the data enrichment function that links OpenSanctions to external databases like OpenCorporates.
  • opensanctions/yente: API for entity matching and searching.


The code within this repository is licensed under the MIT License. For content and data, we adhere to CC 4.0 Attribution-NonCommercial.