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The programme

Mohamed Mambo

Hivos and ARTICLE 19

Hivos and ARTICLE 19’s Open Up Public Contracting programme objectives are that:

  1. Governments increase transparency of their public spending and procurement processes;
  2. Non-state actors participate and engage citizens in the planning, procurement, and monitoring of public contracting; and
  3. Accountability mechanisms are created to receive and act upon citizen feedback.

The programme is being implemented in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Indonesia, Philippines, Guatemala, and Bolivia in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and strong strategic partners like the Open Contracting Partnership, the School of Data, The Engine Room and others.

The programme supports local partners such as independent journalists, activists, businesses and civic watchdog organisations in their efforts to use contracting data and public revenue flows for public scrutiny and advocacy campaigns, to translate the data into meaningful information for citizens.

This way, citizens can gain insight into what governments and businesses are doing, how they obtain and spend (public) money and hold them to account. In addition, the programme advocates for policy and practice change by governments to open more and more high-quality data on public contracting for the public good.

Did you know…

Governments worldwide spend USD 9.5 trillion annually on public contracts. This is a massive 15% of global GDP.

At the same time, the 2015 Open Data Barometer found that just 6% of countries publish open data on government contracts.

According to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, corruption and fraud may amount to 20-25% of procurement budgets.



Strategic Partnership with Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Hivos and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) share the vision that civil society and citizens play a crucial role in a movement towards more government transparency and accountability. In many instances, this process takes shape in collaboration and partnership with ‘champions’ within governments, which creates more trusted, legitimate and efficient institutions. In others, strong lobby and advocacy coalitions are needed that can effectively monitor government performance and push for change. To that effect, providing access to government data and the capacity to transform it into actionable information is a crucial condition. Simultaneously, a vibrant private sector is essential for economic growth and poverty reduction in all Dutch partner countries. This has also been reflected in the Ministry’s policies and activities for some time.

The Open Up Contracting programme is being implemented by Hivos and ARTICLE19, building on a long track record and cooperation within transparency and accountability work. The programme kicked-off in January 2016 and will be implemented until 2020 in partnership with ARTICLE 19 and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.