Back to latest

Our 2030 vision: Better procurement for people and planet

Public procurement should be all about people. It’s a means to an end, not an end in itself. 

That’s why we are leading our new strategy with a bold ambition that puts people right at the center of our work and impact. We want to enable one billion people to live in more equitable, prosperous and sustainable communities by 2030 by improving US$2 trillion in public procurement spending.  

We set up Open Contracting Partnership to be bold: we aren’t after just a bit more transparency of public contracts, we want to transform procurement to meet the urgent needs of our time. 

Our world runs on public contracts. Public procurement covers $13 trillion of spending every year, one in every three dollars spent by our governments. It is an underfunded, paper-based government chore: we want to turn procurement into a smart, user-friendly, digital public service. We want to unlock its power to improve economic inclusion and sustainability, rebuild integrity and trust, and deliver the quality public services that we all deserve. Our bold new target firmly centers our work on this theme for the next six years. 

Open contracting has been the gift that keeps giving. Over our last strategy from 2019-2023, we estimate that our work had an indirect positive impact on an estimated 209 million lives and US$116 billion dollars of public spending. Once the culture of data-driven procurement transformation and of working across stakeholders on inclusive reforms gets embedded, it can address many different problems from improving coordination and reducing corruption risk in pandemic PPE, to saving billions of dollars through improving efficiency and competition, to boosting local economic inclusion, especially of women-owned businesses, to the provision of vital medicines and infrastructure, to giving a voice to marginalized communities and to citizen monitors better holding government to account. 

Now we want to build on that momentum to jump scale again to a tipping point of global change in policy and practice by the start of 2030. We don’t need to persuade everyone, but we do have to capture the imagination and practice of a sufficient cohort for change to become unstoppable. We want the transformation to be decisive: that is why our targets are bold — one billion people and $2 trillion in spending. 

So we need to scale wide, getting to more places, and deep, strengthening systemic impact where we are already working. We’ve identified four key paths in our new strategy to get us there. 

1) Co-creating digital procurement solutions

Current procurement tech serves bureaucracy, not people, so we will work with partners to build much better e-procurement and other digital solutions. Solutions that are user-friendly and that use data to measure and improve outcomes from procurement. For example, with our support, the Dominican Republic’s procurement agency monitors all transactions in the country’s electronic procurement system in real-time using 21 automated corruption red flag risk indicators. Similarly, Lithuania is now tracking the use of “green” criteria to promote the procurement of environmentally friendly products and services, and Paraguay uses machine-learning to advertise tenders suitable for small businesses

We are not trying to become a civic tech firm but we are bringing our procurement expertise to partners to help them be more radical and transformational. We will make sure our solutions are co-built with local partners who will own an important ‘problem’ and who will own and scale the approach. A great example of that is OCP is working with both civil society and the government to imagine how Ukraine’s wartime reconstruction can be digital, accountable and centered around local communities

2) Deepening our regional communities

Open contracting strategies, tools, and lessons travel best around shared languages and shared priority topics. The single biggest investment from our last strategy was to support local and regional teams to be close to the frontline of procurement innovation. We’ve seen the benefits of that regional shift (especially during the pandemic response) so we will continue to strengthen our regional presence of OCP team members, as well as invest more in regional learning opportunities and resources. Check out our regional pages and newsletters for updates! 

We will support local partners to grow their capacity, especially local-rooted civil society partners who are natural users of public procurement information such as reAcción in Paraguay, CivicDataLab in India or Africa Freedom of Information Centre in Uganda. They are deeply embedded in their communities, navigating its political economy and present in the policy conversations. And they really own the outcomes from our collaboration, using open contracting information to drive better services and outcomes for their communities. We have set ourselves a new strategy target to get them dedicated funding and resources. 

3) Building partnerships with international organizations

We have made good progress on shaping global norms at the G7, G20, the OECD and the UN under our previous strategy, but we still see an implementation gap around delivering on commitments and on ensuring they carry over to critical sectors like infrastructure, health and sustainability. We will now more explicitly focus our international advocacy efforts on embedding and supporting open contracting interventions in multilateral institutions that support digital transformation and good governance in procurement, like the World Bank, UN, regional development banks, IMF and others, to deliver those norms in action.

4) Shaping emerging norms and practices, especially on e-GP and sustainability

Procurement has to be both digital and sustainable to better serve people and protect the planet. We feel it is vital to actively shape emerging practices in both of these critical areas as support is currently heavily skewed to detailed legal analysis or specific off-the-shelf technical fixes. 

Although there is a lot of guidance on green and sustainable procurement, our global research tells us that government buyers are still struggling to get started and to scale up their efforts. This is all the more urgent when we consider the huge scale up that we need in green financing to achieve our net zero goals. Likewise, our research into the experience of e-GP implementation in lower capacity contexts highlights significant gaps in global assistance around developing locally owned and maintained e-GP systems versus pursuing lowest price, off-the-shelf products. 

We can help change that with more practical support, tools and inspiration, bridging the gap between knowledge and practice with user-friendly ‘how to’ guides – check out our Open and Sustainable Public Procurement Toolkit and our evergreen Idiot’s Guide to Looting Public Procurement to Get Rich Quick – and by sharing the real stories of reforms and their challenges.  

Better public spending will be at the heart of delivering the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We have bold plans to do our bit to help, so public procurement serves citizens and not the bureaucracy. We’d love you to read our new strategy, kick the tires, tell us what you think and suggest where we can work together for even more transformational impact. 

The future is open!

Related Stories