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Open Contracting: Gaining Momentum

One thing is clear: Open Contracting is gaining momentum. In the past year, since the initial Design Meeting in Washington, Open Contracting has gone from a far-reaching idea to a tangible global movement. 

In just 12 months, the interest around Open Contracting has grown exponentially. Today, more individuals are coming together to ensure that we can establish a new norm in which all public contracting is more open, more participatory, more transparent, and ultimately, more effective.

In full rooms and sold-out events in places such as Johannesburg, London, Brasilia and Washington, citizens from all around the world, from a wide-range of sectors and affiliations, are committing together and working towards advancing efforts in order to make Open Contracting a reality.

And the interest for Open Contracting hasn’t simply grown amongst those of us who have already been committed to these issues for a long time. In social media, in our community of practice, and in a wide range of events and meetings, more and more voices are uniting in a call for contracting that is more open, and that can ultimately contribute to having real positive impacts on the lives of citizens all around the world.

As the momentum for Open Contracting has increased, so has the reach, maturity and impact of this movement. The leadership of the Steering Group of Open Contracting has expanded to a group of 8 stakeholders. That group, now called the Open Contracting Partnership, includes  Colombia Compra Eficiente, the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST), GIZ, Integrity Action, Oxfam America, the government of the Philippines, Transparency International, and the World Bank Institute.

In just the short amount of time since Open Contracting began, the level of understanding and reach of the concept and the brand have increased exponentially, with a growing number of mentions and conversations about Open Contracting in everything from legislation to tweets.

Over the past year, this  increase in reach  has been remarkable, and shows that people all over the world are realizing the value and the importance of public contracting in everyday life. What is even more remarkable, still, is the change that this effort has already begun to make on the ground. At the country level, from Mongolia, where public procurement laws have actually been changed to include monitoring of contracts by civil society, to Kenya where citizens are able to monitor availability of drugs and provide feedback on stockouts, Open Contracting partners and coalitions have been successful at advancing Open Contracting efforts and achieving real results.  

On the global scale, Open Contracting  has  developed a set of principles, for adoption on the international and local levels, that will guide governments and organizations as they work to make contracting more open. Additionally, a data standard for disclosure of public contracts is being developed to ensure that contract data is made available in as clear and accessible a manner as possible.

Furthermore, the Partnership is doing increasing work in order to develop tools, methodologies and other support to advance Open Contracting locally and globally. The Community of Practice is growing, and advocacy efforts are reaching a level of impact that is unprecedented.

There is still much work to be done. We want to continue to broaden interest around this subject, engage a wider set of actors, and build greater public momentum in support of Open Contracting efforts–this is will allow for more impactful work on the ground.

Join the movement and be part of the conversation by signing the Open Contracting Contract , following us on Twitter  and by using #OpenContracting, liking our Facebook page, and by becoming a member of the Open Contracting Community. And of course, keep working hard on the ground to make Open Contracting a reality.

We hope that you will find this newsletter to be a good way to be kept up to date with the important work going on in Open Contracting, and that you’ll share your stories and events with us to be included in future issues. Thank you for the work that you do, and will do in the future to promote Open Contracting and to ensure a better future for all.

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