Operação Serenata de Amor
Operação Serenata de Amor (Operation Serenade of Love) is a technology project that monitors and increases transparency around public spending by government officials to encourage the general public’s active participation in the democratic process. Part of the Data Science for Civic Innovation Program at the NGO Open Knowledge Brasil, the project uses artificial intelligence to audit public accounts and make cases of government corruption accessible to the public. Operação Serenata de Amor uses crowdfunding to support its initiatives. To operate its technology, Serenata maintains a team of 10 employees and more than 600 volunteers.
Theory of Change
Using technology to make government spending more transparent can help the general public engage in democratic processes and ensure accountability.
Operação Serenata de Amor developed several platforms that use artificial intelligence to monitor public spending. Its first, called Rosie, searches for and records suspicious spending by government officials around the country that the general public can then access and use to fight against corruption. Serenata also created a program called Jarbas that makes data on suspicious government spending more accessible by creating visual representations of information found by its AI programs. As of 2022, Serenata is working on a new project called Querido Diáro to make data more transparent at the municipal level.
The project has detected thousands of instances of fraudulent spending. Since 2016, Rosie has found over 8,000 suspicious reimbursements, amounting to nearly 700,000 in USD, and tracked over 700 officials involved in fraud. The project has responded by reporting over 600 of these reimbursements, which involved over 200 officials and 70,000 USD, to Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies. Serenata has also received strong public support since it began tracking government spending. In 2016, its first collective financing campaign raised 30% more than requested - enough money to support its operations for the first 90 days. The project has also been covered by more than 90 media initiatives, including large-scale outlets like Fantastico, Jornal Nacional, and Folha de S. Paula.