Open contracting has gained a lot of recent momentum and more than 20 countries and cities are working towards publishing open contracting data, and on business and civic engagement.

Pledges are a good start, but real results on the ground are what count. Data have to be put to good use to drive social change. To that end, Hivos and Article 19 have launched a global program to empower local civil society groups, journalists, and other so-called infomediaries to discover and use open contracting information.

Hivos and Article 19 worked with the Open Contracting Partnership to conduct scoping studies with local researchers in 15 countries; namely Bangladesh, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The research looked at public contracting holistically, covering policies, legislation, institutions, disclosure practices and engagement mechanisms.

These studies were designed to foster insight into current levels of openness in public contracting, to highlight entry points and challenges for open contracting, and to help identify allies and champions.

This report attempts to summarize some of the key lessons learned, drawing on the findings of comprehensive country reports. It does not try to compare the contracting systems of different countries, and only uses country examples as illustrations. Short summaries of the findings from each country are included as an appendix to this report.