December 7, 2021

National Assembly Open Data Set Source and Methodology

The data has been extracted from the PDF files of the proceedings of National Assembly question hour sessions. The reports are published by the National Assembly secretariat on the assembly website.

The files were scrapped from the website and examined with a natural language processing algorithm to distinguish tabular data presented in the answers provided by the treasury benches to questions posed by members of the assembly.

The tabular data was then saved in CSV files and cleaned to create Excel worksheets. The following information was recorded for each data set:

Title: Based on nature of data

Description: Provides more details about the data set such as duration

Date of answer: When the data was provided in the assembly

Tenure: Either 2008-13 or 2013-18 (Two parliamentary tenures covered in open data tool

Parliamentary year: Ranges from one to five, based on the assembly website’s file dashboard

Session: Each parliamentary session is assigned a number by the assembly. The year and session details will allow users to trace back the original question-hour file on the assembly website.

Name of MNA who asked question: This will allow users to search data by MNA name

Political party of MNA who asked question: This will allow users to search data by party

Government ministry responsible for reply: This will allow users to search by relevant ministry

Theme: The data was categorised according to several important themes. The themes were selected by content analysis of test data, based on 10 percent of total population of data sets.

Question: The text of the questions asked, as reflected in the assembly documents

Data provided: The text of the answers provided, as reflected in the assembly documents

The following themes were selected to categorise the data:


Citizenship and Immigration

Commerce and Industry





Government Services


Housing and Infrastructure

Human Rights

Law and Order


Natural Resources

Planning and Development

Water and Power

The names of ministries were taken from the Cabinet Division website and reconciled with the ministries in the 2008-13 tenure, including the change of cabinet portfolios that took place after a change of prime ministers in 2017.

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