The goal of the Aleph project is to provide powerful technology to investigative journalists who want to track (mainly) white collar crime. The development is fully open, and coordinated by the data team at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. We welcome contributors from other contexts, such as anti-corruption advocacy.
We decided to build Aleph to solve the following principal needs:
Easy data search for both structured and unstructured information (ie. documents and databases).
Cross-referencing between different datasets ("Who are all the politicians in my country that are mentioned in this leak?")
Access control and data compartmentalisation, but also flexible sharing within cross-border teams.
Visual exploration of investigative analysis through network diagrams, timelines and other investigative tools.
Continuous crawling of hundreds of public data sources as background material for research.
Our goal with all this has been to make an open, modular and extensible toolkit that can be operated at scale and in production.
Most of the organisations that have adopted Aleph do so for in-house use. Some public instances exist:
Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) Aleph
Balkans Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) - Research Desk
DDoSecrets Hunter Memorial Library
Code for Africa gazeti.africa
Organisations with in-house Alephs include Global Witness, Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), Swedish Radio (SR), Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) and others.
Aleph is an open source project, we're very excited for contributions from people or organisations who see benefit in helping to refine or extend our tools. Here are some of the ways you could help:
If you are a native speaker of a language that isn't supported by the Aleph user interface, join the Transifex project and help us provide the software in that language.
Any graphic designers or visual artists could help us immensely, in particular by improving the set of icons available inside the application. Please get in touch!
Aleph is the product of a collaborative effort, and many on the team been able to invest time and effort into developing the product. The following organisations have made this possible:
Development of Aleph is also financed via OCCRP's core grants from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Department of State (DRL), Open Societies Foundations (OSF), and Luminate.
If you would like to support OCCRP's development of Aleph, please contact our Partnerships team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides grants to OCCRP, the following other organisations have contributed to the development of Aleph:
The initial prototyping of Aleph was supported by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) through a Knight International Journalism Fellowship in 2014/2015.
EU Project ODINE supported the use of Aleph by OpenOil UG via its data startup incubator programme.