Consultancy for documenting policy, technical, and data use progress in Chile
The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) is a silo-busting global non-profit linking governments, businesses, civil society and technologists. We help to open up government contracting and deal-making through disclosure, data and engagement so that the huge sums of money involved are spent honestly, fairly and effectively. We work to transform public procurement in cities, countries and sectors around the world to make it smarter and fairer.
Open contracting goes beyond publication of data in open formats like the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS); just as important as the actual data is how governments and citizens collaborate throughout the process of data disclosure and use to improve systems and results from procurement. When done right, we should all see completed feedback loops in which a government collaborates closely with users from civil society, private sector, academia, journalism, and others to disclose the data that matter to end users, in formats that support the reuse of those data, and improves how they do procurement based on the improved analysis and information unlocked. A completed feedback loop spans public policy, technical, data use, and government reactions to the results of this data use, and supports long-term, sustainable feedback. The benefits of feedback loops include value for money, improved public integrity, internal efficiency, improved market opportunity, and better quality goods and services.
OCP is keen to document the many advances Chile has already made on its open contracting journey, with a long-term goal (outside of the scope of this current ToR) of using this initial report to link these activities to the impact we hope to see in one or more years.
Chile is on its way to achieving long-term, sustainable impact: already, we have seen public policy changes that call for better data publication, technical improvements that have improved data quality and availability, and the beginning of data use projects such as, but not limited to, the Observatorio Fiscal and Multitudes pilots. We also suspect there has been increased use of these data by external actors like CSOs, journalists, and/or the private sector.
The primary objective of this project is to document in a concise, compelling, and cohesive way the following: 1. key moments of policy change in Chile and how these translated into concrete technical and data use activities; 2. technical work that has been done to improve the quality and quantity of data available; 3. ways in which data have been or are being used within and outside of government to meet certain goals (including through the aforementioned impact pilots); 4. goals of each actor set, and how their data use activities relate to these goals.
Ideally, this documentation report would be the first in a series of future reports on Chile whose ultimate goal would be to showcase the entire process of change, from the initial stages (to be documented in the deliverables of this ToR), to the more advanced stages in which hard impact can be seen (to be explored in a future, separate ToR).
The consultant should format the deliverables of this documentation in way that: 1. meets the needs of our target user groups; and 2. would lend itself to inclusion in a potential future series of reports around impact in Chile. Both elements of this formatting requirement are explored below:
Target user groups: We envision the main target audience groups and their needs to be the following, though other types may exist:
Civil society organizations working in the field of open government and open contracting who want to apply lessons learned from current or prior implementations to using procurement data and advocating for change according to their own agendas (example: Espacio Público)
Government institutions who want to understand how CSOs are using their data to improve their data quality or collaborate more closely with external users (example: policy and technical teams at ChileCompra)
OCP, itself, who wants to have a more complete understanding of the many elements of open contracting work that have or are currently taking place in Chile in order to plan future activities
Inclusion in a potential future series of reports: If Chile continues its open contracting journey through the stage of impact, we plan to do follow-up research on documenting this impact and linking that report with this initial, preliminary documentation report. Upon successful delivery of the products of this contract, OCP would like to explore the potential for the chosen consultant to continue work on this follow-up research, which would likely begin in mid-2019 (or once we have reasonable evidence of impact existing).
We expect that the project will address the following questions, among others:
What has been the path to change so far? This path should link policy change related to open contracting in Chile, technical advances, and data use activities, among other changes.
What are the key outcomes or impacts expected and any evidence that supports change?
What kinds of technical work have been done to improve the quality and quantity of contracting data available? Who were the actors involved in these technical developments?
Who are the players within and outside government who have or are using open contracting data? What are their goals? This includes projects OCP is supporting and those OCP is not.
In what specific ways have these actors used, or are using, open contracting data to meet their goals (including, but not limited to, through the aforementioned impact pilots)?
What are the next steps needed to move these stakeholders’ work forward? Specifically, what kinds of support or other resources do they need from OCP?
Are there any signs of current or upcoming stories of change or impact to which open contracting contributed or will contribute? What is the approximate timeline for witnessing this change?
We are looking for a consultant who is well respected by government, civil society and business and who can help make and deepen connections for further OCP engagement if the assignment shows that there is potential for more progress and impact. The consultant should also demonstrate a mastery of both the required technical knowledge and storytelling abilities in order to tell the story of Chile’s progress in an engaging, compelling narrative fashion.
The key deliverable is a short findings report (10 pages maximum, including graphics or images) in Spanish that pieces together the many different threads of work that have or are being completed in Chile in an engaging and complete way. The format of all deliverables should suit the needs of our target user groups and plans for inclusion into future materials noted in the “Objectives” section.
The consultant will also provide contact lists and interview scripts of people interviewed, relevant background materials (e.g. legislation, existing write ups).
Key activities and deliverables
Interviews & meetings
Oct 1: Application deadline
Oct 10: Contract signed
Oct 16: Work plan and interview list finalized
Nov 16: Draft findings shared with OCP for feedback
Dec 16: All final deliverables submitted
What we expect from the consultant
Based in Chile
Excellent written and verbal communication skills in Spanish, with proven publication record of engaging yet complete stories that appeal to a wide range of readers
Solid understanding of the country context and key players from various stakeholder groups, with an ability to navigate political dynamics
Exceptional project management skills
Experience working on procurement, open data and governance issues is a plus
Understanding of the technical aspects of open contracting data work is a plus
Experience in constructively engaging stakeholders, especially from government and civil society is a plus
What OCP will provide
Introduction to some key players and framing of the project with these key players
Guiding materials around open contracting
Continuous engagement through contract completion
Potential for future collaboration on further impact-related work in Chile
Background Information on Chile
OCP in Chile: The OCP is supporting Chilean stakeholders through strategic advice and support, learning and network building on open contracting so that they can implement their plan to make public contracting more fair, efficient, transparent, accountable and effective. This, combined with broader public procurement and public financial management reforms, will contribute to more transparency, better value for money, and improved goods and services.
We are currently providing support to ChileCompra, the national procurement agency, in its technical work. ChileCompra has a Civil Society Advisory Group (COSOC) made up of civil society organizations and supplier groups. The Observatorio del Gasto Fiscal (Observatorio Fiscal) has the presidency of this group and is developing along with Chile Transparente, with the support of OCP, a project to study competition in the public market to promote better market opportunities and push for disclosure of beneficial ownership to increase real competition.
Project with Observatorio Fiscal: This project will use open contracting data analyze competition in the public market and beneficial ownership of government contractors in Chile, identifying data gaps, and complementing the information with qualitative analysis via interviews with local suppliers and other relevant stakeholders. The goals are to understand the current competition situation in the public market in Chile, ask for more information of government contractors in Chile to be disclosed, which should push government to take action, disclose data, and then help to boost real competition in the public sector and mitigate collusion risks in procurement related to bidding companies belonging to the same owner. It will also help civil society organizations to ask for a commitment about disclose beneficial ownership information of government contractors to be included in future policies. The outputs of this technical and data use work include a report analyzing problems regarding quality of data included in the company ownership certificates, findings and recommendations to increase competition in public procurement and move forward the disclosure of beneficial ownership in Chile. This will be complemented by stakeholder engagement and capacity building to identify the most important actors across sectors with whom we should engage in future work to promote deeper and more sustainable impact in Chile. We will also identify the needs of these actors to better shape our future work to close existing knowledge and capacity gaps, which will also promote more impact.
Project with Multitudes: Another member of ChileCompra’s COSOC is Fundación Multitudes, which is developing with OCP’s support a study linking the contracting and lobbying datasets, to produce a platform that will make transparent the links between lobbying and contract awards in the subnational level in Chile and to act on those insights to address conflicts of interest. This project aims to use open contracting and lobbying datasets to generate a diagnosis of the influence of lobbying in awarding of contracts at the regional level in Chile, based on open contracting data disclosed by ChileCompra and to put in operation a platform to show the relationship between these two topics. The ultimate objective of this work is provide a tool for civil society and government providers to check red flags about potential misuse of the lobby bill and provide evidence for ChileCompra’s Observatorio to check and the General Comptroller to start investigations. This should contribute to an increase in public integrity in the contracting in the subnational level in Chile.
We expect the results of these two impact pilots (with Observatorio Fiscal and Multitudes) to happen by mid-2019, once the projects have concluded.