The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) is a silo-busting collaboration among government, business, civil society and technologists working to improve public contracting outcomes through improved transparency and engagement. We work across sectors and along the whole process of government contracting to save governments money and time, deliver better goods and services to citizens, deter corruption, and create a better business environment for all.
Several of the contexts in which open contracting practitioners are working are “low-tech” - in terms of technical infrastructure, data availability, or capacities of key stakeholders. At OCP, we want to help frontline reformers from government, civil society, and other relevant stakeholder groups who are working in such contexts to advance open contracting in a way that is pertinent to them. The goal of this consultancy is to conduct a needs assessment and research to identify the needs of key stakeholders in such environments, compile an overview of existing resources and services as well as the remaining gaps, and suggest ways we can best support these reformers.
Objective of Consultancy Our goal is to provide guidance and examples for key stakeholder groups to engage around public procurement using offline or low-tech tools and methodologies. Specific target audiences and corresponding needs should be identified through user research, but may include civil society organizations (CSOs), journalists, government oversight authorities, or others.
Many relevant resources for these purposes that have been created over the years (see initial list in annex) but we continue to hear from our partners that there is still a need for resources and support in low-tech environments. This includes our most recent annual field survey, where we saw recurring asks around advocacy support as well as better monitoring resources, as well as requests around better stakeholder engagement throughout the procurement process. We are keen to understand why, despite many existing resources, a gap nonetheless remains - and what OCP’s role is in filling it, as well as others who may be better positioned to do so.
Based on user needs, the consultant will synthesize and/or develop content as relevant, and propose delivery mechanisms to best empower practitioners.
We expect the exact needs to be identified through user research, though most requests from our partners around the world seem to be focused on help with:
How to make a strong case for change (advocacy);
How to find and use data to help make the case (data analysis); and
How to ensure the effectiveness of procurement in specific sectors (monitoring.)
We are keen to test these hypotheses with our key stakeholders. If these assumptions do not hold, the consultant will help us to identify the more accurate needs or gaps. We believe that testing our offerings before developing them will help us to get them right.
We are thus seeking a consultant to:
Conduct user research, including interviews with stakeholders in low-tech environments to be agreed with OCP, in order to understand what they struggle with, as well as why and how OCP could best help;
Review existing monitoring methodologies and guides, along with desk research to identify additional examples (particularly relevant to the health sector, as well as education, infrastructure, or other priority sectors);
Identify the most useful existing resources (in terms of both content and services) and make these more accessible, as well as the most pressing gaps (where there are not currently existing resources) and what is needed to fill them;
Suggest the most effective delivery mechanism in order to package these resources in a useful way to feature partners' work and foster uptake across the community, while ensuring this is integrated with OCP’s overall work and strategy; and
Recommend potential partners for delivering resources or services in various regions that may come out of the user research.
Timeline & Deliverables Expected deliverables and tentative timeline:
Participation in stakeholder workshop in Nairobi (February 24-26, 2020)
Approved work plan and interview list (February 28, 2020)
Notes from user research and interviews (April 30, 2020)
First draft of insights (drawing on user research, interviews, and desk research) with prototypes, as applicable (May 29, 2020)
Second draft incorporating comments from OCP and selected intended users (June 10, 2020)
Fully designed and published content, as agreed with OCP (June 30, 2020)
We expect that the project should be completed by the end of June 2020.
Budget: Up to 20,000 USD. Travel to the Nairobi workshop will be covered under a separate budget and does not need to be budgeted in the proposal.
Application Requirements We want to work with a creative person or team who understands how to conduct user research, distill key lessons, and simplify resources for practical use.
Good understanding of procurement or contracting
Experience in stakeholder outreach and engagement
Experience with conducting user research and distilling key recommendations
Track record of developing learning materials and services based on user research
Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
Fluency in English, plus Spanish or other relevant languages
Organization working on capacity development in low-tech environments
Experience delivering learning content in visual or interactive ways
Content or graphic design experience
Fluency in French and other languages
ANNEX List of existing resources to consider (non-exhaustive)