Research Consultancy for Quantifying Global Open Procurement Activity
Public contracting is the largest marketplace in the world. Governments spend around $9.5 trillion dollars a year on contracts with private companies: this spending is vital to service delivery, to public trust and governance and to global development.
The OCP was launched in 2015 as a silo-busting collaboration across governments, business, and civil society to open up the entire process of planning, awarding, and delivering these contracts. We drive massive improvements in public integrity, service delivery, and value for money by shifting government contracting from closed documents and paper-based process to digital services that are smart, fair, efficient, and open by design. The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) is working to quantify open contracting (OC) as part of global procurement activity.
Research Objectives and Questions
OCP is keen to explore the size of the global procurement market and its openness and express the results in an engaging way for the international community. This research is two-fold: first, quantifying the size of the procurement market; and second, estimating how much of that market has been published using the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS).
We have long used the statistic that “Governments worldwide spend an estimated USD 9.5 trillion annually in public contracting,” a figure based on research by the Center for Global Development that we know can be updated to be made more accurate. We do not currently have an estimate of what percent of this total global value is being published in OCDS etc.
Therefore, our main research questions are:
What is a simple but credible estimate of the current annual global spending in public procurement?
How can we put a quantitative base to knowing where “open contracting” is being implemented? For example, would that be any location publishing to the OCDS, or publication of procurement information more generally?
What methodology can we apply to measure how much of that global spending that open contracting 'opening up', either through direct publishing or indirect republishing?
What is an estimate for how much global procurement spending open contracting (e.g. the OCDS) unlocks?
What is a robust methodology to track changes in these figures simply and easily?
We will welcome other interesting data analyses that arise from this work. Based on these insights, we may add an addition phase to this work to explore how we can better measure basic information and performance of procurement globally and assess changes in the quality and completeness of data available. The final report must include a robust methodology for updating the calculations in the future.
The target audience group for this public report is OCP’s community and funders, which wants to have a more complete understanding of how public contracting is changing and becoming more open. We will also disseminate these results through research, advocacy, and communications platforms.
The key deliverable is a short findings report (20 pages maximum, including graphics or images) in English that describes the methodologies used for calculating both the total global procurement market value, the portion of that market open contracting and the OCDS unlocks, as well as final figures for these values. A core component will be documenting a robust methodology for updating the figures.
Key activities and deliverables
Research and calculation methodology
Sources (written materials or interview) list
Interviews & meetings, if needed
Findings report (including first draft and second drafts and final report)
Blog summarizing findings (including first draft and final blog)
What we expect from the consultant
We are looking for a consultant who is knowledgeable about the global procurement market and OCP’s mission and activities. The consultant must have a demonstrated background in research model design and statistical analysis and be capable of carrying out this project from the design through execution phases.
Excellent demonstrable research and data analysis skills
Solid understanding of the global public procurement and OCP’s place in that ecosystem
Excellent written and verbal communication English, with proven publication record of engaging yet complete stories that appeal to a wide range of readers
Exceptional time management skills
Understanding of the technical aspects of open contracting data work is a plus
What OCP will provide
Background materials from our existing research base
Introduction to key experts, if needed
Guiding materials around open contracting
Support from the OCP Helpdesk on analyzing OCDS datasets
Continuous engagement through contract completion
The consultant will report to Katherine Wikrent, Manager of Data, Learning, and Impact at OCP.
July 15: Contract signature
July 30: Draft work plan, resource list, and interview list (if required) shared with OCP for feedback
August 15: Work plan, resource list, and interview list finalized
September 15: Initial findings report shared with OCP for feedback
September 30: First draft of findings report shared with OCP with feedback
October 15: Second draft of findings report shared with OCP with feedback
October 30: First draft of summary blog shared with OCP for feedback
November 15: All final deliverables submitted to OCP
Please submit your application by 11:59pm EST Sunday, June 30. Applications should include a CV, cover letter, sample research excerpt in English (5 pages maximum), consultant daily rate, and expected number of days. We will prioritize proposals under 10,000 USD.
We are dedicated to equal employment opportunity and aim to cultivate and sustain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive team. We really value and prioritize diversity as a range of experiences and perspectives enriches our work and strengthens our ability to address complex challenges. We are especially keen to hear from candidates from diverse backgrounds. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.