Written By Andrew Mandelbaum, Development Gateway, 28 Jun 2016

A few weeks ago, 14 countries participating in the UK-hosted Anti-Corruption Summit pledged to make “public procurement open by default.” As part of their commitments, these governments agreed to implement the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), which allows data and documents to be disclosed at all stages of the contracting process using a common data model. By proactively publishing procurement information in formats that can be reused, these governments will join a host of others who are banking on open contracting to save taxpayers money, reduce corruption, and enhance efficiency in the procurement process.

Now comes the hard part: putting those commitments to action.

Over the past several months, Development Gateway has been taking steps to make open contracting a reality, while documenting the process along the way. We’ve been working with Vietnam’s Public Procurement Agency to implement the OCDS, and to develop a monitoring and evaluation dashboard that will enable the agency to use analytics to support the government’s mission to increase procurement transparency, fairness, efficiency, timeliness and quality. Although this collaboration, convened with the support of the World Bank, is ongoing, we’ve published a series of blog posts to document our experiences so far:

  1. Our first post provides an overview of the project and lays out the steps we’ve taken towards implementation.
  2. Next, we tease out what government stands to gain from open contracting and take readers through the process of Development Gateway’s collaboration with the Public Procurement Agency, from initial assessment to prototyping the monitoring and evaluation dashboard.
  3. Are you interested in learning how to convert government data to OCDS? The third post explains how to do it: from database diving and OCDS mapping to spitting the data back out in a format that humans can understand.
  4. If you’re a developer, you won’t want to miss the fourth blog post, which takes you under the hood of our open source procurement dashboard.

We hope these posts will help anyone with an interest in open contracting to navigate the process, and look forward to launching our own Vietnam project in the fall.