Research: Open contracting for a fairer and better marketplace for women-owned businesses
Budget: 15,000 USD
Governments spend US $ 9.5 trillion contracting goods and services from the private sector every year but women-owned businesses only supply 1 percent of this market. Government contracts can be a lifeline for many businesses and an avenue for growth. Open contracting reforms present a unique opportunity to apply to a gender lens to make sure that this market is designed, awarded, monitored and to make sure that this huge market supports women’s economic empowerment.
Lack of access to information on bids, understanding complex procedures and bias can create barriers for women entrepreneurs. Boosting women's businesses can create jobs, and inject the market with new ideas and competition. Governments that have committed to open contracting and are implementing procurement transparency policies should be mature grounds for comparing barriers, gender-responsive policies and procurement data.
SCOPE OF WORK
This research will produce a report that identifies (a) the main barriers for women to participate in public contracting and (b) identify some features of public contracting systems that mitigate against these barriers.
Research questions These are some of the questions the research should address.
What barriers do women-owned businesses face in entering public procurement markets and winning contracts?
Do the barriers look different for women-managed, women-owned and women-employing businesses?
Are women-owned businesses using government established feedback and engagement loops? Do they feel heard?
Are redress and complaint mechanism considered fair by women-owned businesses?
Do women contractors experience gendered forms of corruption in the public procurement market?
This research should consider the global picture, and then a subsection of countries that have open contracting commitments. This is a new field and the first time we are doing research on gender and open contracting so we will be working with you to co-design the exact shape of the project.
Refine list of research questions in collaboration with OCP
Prepare research plan and report outline
Desk research: a synthesis of global research on barriers and deeper look into a few open contracting countries
Interview recordings and summarized interview notes
Full report, at the end of the project, summarizing the key learnings from the research project. The report should not be longer than 20 pages.
Terms of the Consultancy
The total fee is payable on mutually-agreed milestones.
You will be a hustling, self-starting researcher, actively pursuing contacts, seeking out stakeholders, and attending relevant meetings to seek input and insight.
You will regularly update OCP on progress, providing short summaries of any important meetings or insights during your engagement.
In total, we envisage this engagement taking at least 30 days over 3-6 months.
You can be based anywhere but should be ready to have regular calls with project lead, Hera Hussain (Senior Advocacy Manager) who is based in the UK.
You may be expected to travel locally or internationally if an opportunity to conduct a workshop or in-person interviews arises. This will be covered by the Open Contracting Partnership outside of this project budget.
A proven track record of performing research projects focused on public policy
Experience of working in multi-country and multi-stakeholder groups
Ability to perform human-centered design approach combining different research methods such as research desk, interviews, and policy analysis
Excellent written skills in English and strong communication and interpersonal skills as the project requires working with people who speak other languages (ie Spanish)
Ability to work flexible hours to account for time zone differences of different locations for the interviewees and Open Contracting team
Strong project management skills including being a self-starter
Understanding of open contracting and public procurement is desirable (but not required)
Passion for, and experience of, supporting women in business and women's economic empowerment
Knowledge of feminist theory is desirable too
Fluency in Spanish would be a bonus
Budget: The total budget for this project is 15,000 USD over 3-6 months.
To Apply Please submit the following by the deadline:
Cover letter outlining your motivations, qualifications and a brief explanation of how you would form a research plan
CV detailing recent relevant experience
Proposed budget with daily rate and total number of days
Short writing samples from a written report or research paper
Two references with whom we could follow up including name, organization and contact information
You will be working with Hera Hussain, Senior Advocacy Manager and Gender Lead at Open Contracting Partnership.
Thanks in advance for your interest and good luck!