Written By Karolis Granickas, 30 Mar 2017

There’s good news for folks around Europe this spring – the open contracting community is coming together on 5 April in Poland ahead of the Personal Democracy Forum (PDF). We’re particularly happy to be meeting in the port city of Gdansk, which was the cradle of a democratic revolution in the 1980s that ended an era of closed and heralded a new era of openness in East and Central Europe.

From pioneering procurement transparency initiatives in Slovakia to sweeping openness reform in Georgia, many of the first inspirational open contracting initiatives emerged from Europe. Since then, around a dozen European countries have committed to open contracting, and three countries  (France, the UK and Ukraine) co-founded the Contracting 5 – along with Colombia and Mexico, this group of governments is leading the global movement to transform public contracting with better data.

2017 is the year to harness all that creativity and enthusiasm to generate lasting impact. And there is real potential for that to happen: Ukraine’s Dozorro.org initiative is already showing how citizens can get inspired by contracting data, Open Procurement Albania is tackling procurement in the health sector, and Open Data Kosovo is visualizing procurement data to reach citizens, among many other projects. Great innovations like these can create valuable opportunities for sharing and learning within the open contracting community.

To propel this type of exchange, we’re bringing open contracting thought-leaders, practitioners, and champions together to share new ideas, to find out what’s hot, what’s not, what’s working, and what isn’t, and to showcase tools and tips for turning data into visible change on the ground. Here is the event’s agenda – we would love it if you can make it. Register here if you’ll be joining us.

The gathering in Gdansk isn’t the only time we’ll be meeting in Europe in 2017. A larger global open contracting forum will take place on 28-29 November in Amsterdam. So save the date for that one too.

Gdansk is an exciting place to start building a strong open contracting community in Europe. And 2017 is an exciting time – we hope to see new open contracting publishers and inventions, more accountable governments, more citizens engaged and more public funds being put to their best use. Innovating and sharing together is the key to achieving this and we remain committed to helping this community grow.

Photo: Gdansk old town