Consultancy for open contracting scoping in Nigeria and Uganda
The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) is looking for a superb consultant to document stories of change and impact from open contracting in Nigeria and Uganda, adn to capture how building coalitions of diverse stakeholders contributed to these changes.
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.
At the heart of our work is the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), which enables disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process (from planning, through tendering and award, to implementation) by defining a common data model. It is openly licensed and was created to support organizations to increase contracting transparency, and allow deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users. We are currently working with over 25 national and subnational governments to implement the OCDS.
However open contracting goes far beyond publication of OCDS data, and relies on the engagement of multiple stakeholders; just as important as the actual data are how governments and citizens collaborate throughout the data disclosure and use cycle. When done right, we see a completed feedback loop 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 results of those reuse. The benefits of feedback loops include value for money, improved public integrity, internal efficiency, improved market opportunity, and better quality goods and services.
One of OCP’s most exciting projects is in Nigeria, where government and non-government actors have been working together to transform public procurement through open contracting and other reforms. Innovation and change is happening in many different contexts, from the civil society-led Budeshi effort, to the plans of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to launch its Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO.) BPP won the Government Innovation Award in November 2017 for its development of NOCOPO in close collaboration with civil society organizations.
We have been supporting government and civil society to advance open contracting through these various avenues, in particular since the London Anti-Corruption Summit in May 2016. We are keen to document the changes, challenges, and approaches from these various open contracting reforms and projects. We are especially keen to capture the impact stories related to Budeshi, where actual fixes have recently occurred.
We are also particularly excited about recent progress in Uganda. We have been working with the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), a long-standing champion of open contracting in Uganda and across the African continent, to advance the agenda since 2012. More recently, in a departure from historically contentious government-civil society relations, AFIC has been directly collaborating with Uganda’s Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) since 2016 to improve their systems and implement open contracting.
We want to look into what has made this collaboration so effective, and how this has led to concrete partnerships including joint fundraising, reporting, and participation in conferences and other fora. We believe this could be an interesting success story and potential model for other countries to learn from - especially given the long-standing distrust between government and non-government actors - and are eager to document the strides made thus far. We are also keen to explore whether some of the changes, both at national and subnational level, could be early impacts.
The primary objective of this project is to surface potential impacts from this work in Nigeria and Uganda. We are keen to document the current status of open contracting data use in these countries, and to explore in what ways government agencies have responded or plan to respond to these analyses. If they exist, we’d like to document any results these countries have already seen, whether at the local or national level. The primary objectives of this project are to give OCP a better understanding of: 1. who uses open contracting data and how in both countries; 2. in what ways government agencies have used or are planning to use these analyses to improve outcomes (effectively closing the feedback loop) and what the hard results have been, if any; and 3. what is needed to promote eventual impact and stronger and more feedback loops, from the improvement of data quality and use, to government response to data use.
Furthermore this project will capture and document approaches, tools and lessons that could help reformers in other countries to collaborate with diverse stakeholders to advance open contracting for specific purposes. We expect that the products of this consultancy will serve as resources for others who are working to implement open contracting, especially those who are struggling to collaborate effectively with other stakeholders to effect change from this work.
In addition, as a more internal-facing objective we would also like to more concretely identify the performance goals of the stakeholders in the two countries, as well as opportunities for improving data quality and use, and to provide insight into what is needed to further support and document positive impacts of open contracting. This should help to inform potential areas of engagement and support for OCP (and potentially others) moving forward.
We expect that the project will address the following questions, among others:
What were the key elements of success in establishing healthy working relationships and collaborations among the various parties?
Who is working on open contracting? Who is a champion and who is a blocker? Who else needs to be involved?
How regularly is OCDS data published, and how? How good is the quality and completeness of these data?
Are these data (and the related reports) accessed and used? If so, how and by whom?
What are ongoing or planned reforms or initiatives that relate to open contracting?
Are there any stories of change or impact that open contracting contributed to? Are there any measurable results that open contracting helped achieve?
Whom should we engage with moving forward? What is most needed and what is feasible?
How much of a lift would it be to make significant progress in terms of data publication and use?
What are potential additional local consultants and/or partners that we could work with?
Is there possible impact from open contracting that is already apparent and that we should pursue further?
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. So while this is a research and scoping project, it also involves a component of outreach and engagement.
The deliverables will form a portfolio of resources that can inform open contracting champions working toward implementation in other countries or contexts. This will include the main impact stories from the two countries, with accompanying blogs detailing the key findings, as well as an engaging guide presenting insights and lessons learned.
The consultant will also provide contact lists and notes of people interviewed, relevant background materials (e.g. legislation, existing write ups) and data analysis, if needed.
Key activities and deliverables
Interviews & meetings
August 15: contract signature
August 24: work plan and interview list finalized
September 21: draft findings shared with OCP for feedback
September 28: all final deliverables submitted
What we expect from the consultant
Be available to travel to Nigeria and Uganda during the consultancy timeframe.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English, with track record in producing robust research reports.
Proven ability to write in a concise and engaging style, and to be technically sound without being technical.
Have a good understanding of the country context and key players from various stakeholder groups, with an ability to navigate political dynamics.
Experience working on procurement, open data and governance issues.
Experience in constructively engaging stakeholders and ability to be an ambassador for OCP.
Exceptional project management skills and ability to keep on task independently.
What OCP will provide
Introduction to some key players and framing of the project with these key players.
Guiding materials around open contracting.
Background information and documentation on open contracting and its implementation in Nigeria and Uganda.
Regular check-ins to discuss findings and help prioritize follow ups.