Peppercat: the collaborative World Leaders list

What is this?

Data on political leaders from all over the world.

Why?

Because the main source that people otherwise use for this is the CIA World Leaders Directory, and we think the world deserves something better than that.

How are you better than them?

Well, one big way is that they don’t seem to have updated their lists since 2020. But even if they were up to date, their data is very basic: just a plain list of names of who holds what position. We provide some extra biographical information where possible (gender, data of birth, etc), but—more importantly—also make sure that everyone is linked to a Wikidata item, where usually much more information is available.

But the CIA list covers more places than you.

They’ve been at it a lot longer, and have a lot more resources. But we’re expanding quickly, and will hopefully catch up to them soon enough. To get there, though, we could really use your help.

How can I help?

If you see something that’s wrong, the best thing to do is to correct it yourself. Every officeholder here has a direct link to their Wikidata item, and, just like with Wikipedia, that’s open for anyone to edit. Your changes won’t be updated on Peppercat instantly: that happens as part of a regular process where we check that updates look correct, but they should appear soon. (If they don't, then get in touch.)

If fixing something yourself seems a bit too scary or difficult, or it all goes horribly wrong somewhere, just let us know by twitter or email, and we’ll look into it ourselves.

If you think we’ve left out an important position somewhere, let us know, and we’ll look into adding it. We frequently laugh at the CIA managing to leave the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary out of its UK list, but we’ve probably done something just as silly somewhere.

If you want to help us add a new place, the most useful thing you can find for us is a link to an official website where the list of Ministers gets maintained and updated — i.e. it always lists the current Ministers, not just those who were appointed at a particular time. That enables us to automatically check every night for changes, to help make sure our list is always as up to date as possible.

How can I use this data?

At the bottom of each page of data, there’s a CSV file of everything you can see on the page. We hope it should be fairly self-explanatory, but if it’s not, then get in touch. (NB: We haven’t completely worked out yet exactly what should be there, so you should beware that the columns might change in later versions.)

This selection and arrangement of data is published under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 License.

Who are you?

This was put together by Tony Bowden, with a lot of assistance from Paul Youlten and Friedrich Lindenberg, and designs from Why. But it also builds on the work of many, many others, particularly everyone who has contributed political information to Wikidata, or has worked on all the wonderful Free Software this relies so heavily on. A lot of heavy lifting is made much simpler thanks to wikibase-cli, jq, and qsv (née xsv).

We'd also like to hear more about who you are, how you’re using the data, or what would need to be added to make it possible for you to use.

How can I get in touch?

Email us at info@peppercat.org, or talk to me on Twitter @tmtm.