Independent evaluator for OCP’s BHP Foundation program
The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) was launched in 2015 as a silo-busting collaboration across governments, business, and civil society to open up and transform the entire process of planning, awarding, and delivering public contracts. We support partners to improve value for money, public integrity and service delivery by shifting government contracting from closed documents and paper-based processes to digital services that are smart, fair, efficient and ‘open-by-design’.
We are seeking an experienced impact evaluation team that will support us and our partners in surfacing impact, progress, lessons and remaining gaps thus far under one of our major programs funded by the BHP Foundation.
We expect this research to provide a comprehensive analysis of each of our key aims in program target countries:
Advocating for a global norm of better, more responsive, and more open public contracting;
Supporting systemic, impactful implementation of contracting reforms on the ground, including through open data publication and use;
Building a self-sustaining community of policy and practice; and
Learning and sharing what works.
This analysis should address, at a minimum, the following questions:
What concrete impact and progress can we identify thus far under our grant program?
What are the key gaps that are keeping us and our partners from seeing even more impact in country projects?
What are concrete ways forward to help our partners get to more impact over the remainder of the grant?
What is needed to support the sustainability of the open contracting ecosystem?
We will also work with local stakeholders to finalize the research questions and investigation methodology.
OCP is ultimately focused on ensuring that open contracting leads to impact. For OCP, impact means significant, widespread changes in procurement policies and practices, which result from a combination of the cornerstones of open contracting outlined in our strategy. These cornerstones are performance- and user-centered design of reforms; publishing and using open data in a machine-readable format that’s free for use and reuse; cross-sectoral engagement and feedback; and learning, sharing, and iteration.
We know many partners are in the progress or outcome phase, which include shorter-term shifts in behaviors, attitudes, processes, regulations, and actions that can be thought of as “stepping stones” towards eventual impact. This evaluation will help uncover these outcomes and potential impact, especially in terms of improving goods/works/services, as well as current gaps in implementations and recommendations from partners on how OCP could improve our support to our partners, either directly or indirectly, and help them reach even more impact faster in future.
Depending on performance, there is a possibility that this consultancy may be extended through the program’s final evaluation in the coming years.
Objectives We are approaching the mid-point of this grant program, and have spent over two years working with government innovators from a range of countries at the leading edge of open contracting reforms. We already have some valuable lessons about both what has worked well and what has been challenging under this program. We are now looking for an independent voice to add to these findings, to assess our measures of progress and impact in program jurisdictions, and to surface key factors from successful implementations (and what is missing from less successful examples) to inform our next phase work.
The key deliverable of this consultancy is the development of an independent evaluation report that documents impact and progress thus far; surfaces gaps that are keeping us from seeing impact; illuminates concrete ways OCP can help partners achieve more impact, faster; and shares these results. In developing the methodology, we expect the consultant(s) to consider OCP’s results framework, evaluation criteria, and impact indicators as outlined in our new strategy.
We expect the findings of this evaluation to feed into improved project design in program countries, deeper knowledge of which country stakeholders to engage, and better learning in collaboration with partners. Country partners should be engaged in the design, implementation, and sharing of the evaluation.
We believe that the minimum outputs of this project will include the following (although we are open to discussing evaluation elements and refining any methodology with the chosen consultants):
Comprehensive documentation of impacts thus far, including through gathering specific targeted data to validate any thesis. This could include data collection and analysis to assess the quality and usefulness of open contracting data; measuring improvements in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, value for money, integrity, and fairness; and identification of potential uses of the information toward these objectives.
A comprehensive mapping of the open contracting ecosystem in key countries, including actors in each context, how they do or could contribute to open contracting efforts, and how they communicate and collaborate (or do not.) This should also include actors who are not yet engaged in the community or ecosystem but should be.
A gap analysis of current reform projects to identify what additional support is needed and how our interventions can have even more impact, informed by a partner survey to garner honest and actionable feedback about how well our support model is working and what we can do to improve the quality of our collaborations. This should also be informed by local surveys to assess changing perceptions of the reform in program jurisdictions.
A detailed internal report for OCP with recommendations for our future work at both local and programmatic level, as well as a digestible version of around 15 pages for public sharing and dissemination.
Polished graphics to reflect key findings, as well as a social media kit to help share the findings.
A findings workshop with members of the OCP team to jointly identify broader lessons and insights for our work, as well as in-country (possibly virtual) workshops with country partners to discuss the results of the evaluation.
The evaluation will be conducted via desk research, review of key documents, interviews and site visits to several of the program jurisdictions (to be agreed with OCP). We expect the consultant(s) to collaborate closely with OCP and our external partners in the field throughout the project.
Deliverables and anticipated timeline
Draft work plan with timeline: February 14, 2020
Including methodology and report structure
Interview plan: February 28, 2020
Interviews, research, and travel conducted between March and May, with bi-weekly check-in calls
Report outline: June 12, 2020
Draft report: July 17, 2020
Final report : August 31, 2020
Findings workshops for internal (OCP) audience and external stakeholders: September 11, 2020
Co-develop blog, presentation, or other insights dissemination: September 18, 2020
At least five years of relevant experience in monitoring, evaluation, and learning
Experience in stakeholder outreach and engagement
Experience with data analysis
Experience with implementing feedback surveys
Great communicator with a snappy, engaging writing style
Fluency in English
Fluency in Spanish and other languages relevant to this program
Significant knowledge of public procurement generally
Good understanding of the procurement process in various jurisdictions
Knowledge of major business or civil society stakeholders
Intellectual curiosity, coupled with an innovative and entrepreneurial drive
Grace and flexibility, with a skeptical mind; A critical friend
Impeccable integrity and a real understanding of our mission
Budget We expect a fully detailed budget, including (but not exclusive to) staff time and travel expenses.
Evaluation Proposals will be evaluated against four criteria:
Work-plan proposal and vision: 40%
Languages and communication skill: 20%
OCP's open contracting policies for award information In line with our open contracting policy, we will publish contracting information related to this opportunity. Once contracts are awarded, we will publish notices that include:
All the bidders and their prices
Evaluation criteria and their adjudication
Winning bidder and price
Start and end dates
Additional Background The Translating Resource Revenues into Effective Services & Infrastructure program is a five-year program funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation’s Global Signature Programme on Natural Resource Governance. Improving outcomes from natural resource development requires high standards of governance across the entire natural resource value chain. Our program focuses predominantly on the last link in the chain, how the money spent by governments from natural resources has the potential to transform lives through the delivery of public goods and services, and through supporting business growth and job creation.
Governments predominantly deliver citizen services and infrastructure through contracts with companies. This public contracting is the single greatest area of government spending – accounting for some US$ 9.5 trillion or 15% of global GDP. This stage is also probably the weakest link in the value chain.
Inefficiency, poor management and corruption thrive on a lack of transparency and insufficient external checks. The huge sums of money involved, the diffuse nature of the transactions, their general obscurity, and the high levels of government discretion involved in awards, make public contracting government’s number one corruption risk. Some 57% of foreign bribery cases prosecuted under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention involved bribes to obtain public contracts. Beyond corruption, public contracting is often also rife with mismanagement and bureaucracy.
This translates into huge losses for everyone: governments lose money and trust, businesses stop participating in the marketplace, citizens receive sub-standard goods and services. Costs can be huge; for example, the same piece of road costs almost half as much again in a corrupt country as a better governed one.
Our BHP Foundation funded program seeks to transform public contracting in resource rich countries though ‘open contracting.’ This involves accessible, user-friendly open data on the entire ‘deal flow’ of public contracts, as well as business and civic engagement to put that data to work across government, helping to secure that vital final step in the resource value chain. The program focuses on improving public procurement and contracting in resource rich countries, which will help strengthen good governance in the natural resource value chain and better convert the income from natural resources into goods, services and infrastructure for citizens.
Please Note: 1. Program countries include Afghanistan, Argentina (Buenos Aires), Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico (Mexico City), Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, UK, and USA (Los Angeles and Philadelphia.)
2. Impact indicators are defined as widespread changes in procurement outcomes resulting from the cornerstones of open contracting: Increased trust, Improved efficiency, Increased public integrity, Better business environment, Fairer competition, Better value for money, or Better goods and services.