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This scoping study aims to gauge the state of openness of public procurement processes in Côte d’Ivoire, understand the capacities and interests of key procurement actors, and identify opportunities for procurement reform and the adoption of open contracting principles. It is part of the West Africa Open Contracting Assessment Project.

In Côte d’Ivoire, there has been a huge increase over the past decade in public contracts. According to the Ivorian National Authority for the Regulation of Public Procurement, the number of requests for proposals or tenders increased from 389 worth $221 million in 2000, to 2,265 worth $1.7 billion in 2015. However, the proportion of open tenders versus direct contracts has significantly decreased over the same period – from 60% open and 27% direct in 2000 to 36% open and 39% direct in 2015 based on contract value. In 2015, direct contracts represented 70% of all contracts.

Data on procurement, especially tenders, is online and publicly available. However, data on the other stages of the procurement or contracting process – planning, award, contract, implementation – is fragmented, inaccessible or unavailable. This provides an opportunity for improvement in the public procurement system, to encourage open contracting and invest in disclosure and participation efforts.

When addressing the procurement process from end to end, open contracting holds the potential to strengthen trust and accountability, and to increase transparency among the various actors in the process.

The study was coordinated by the Open Contracting Partnership, in collaboration with the World Wide Web Foundation and with the financial support of the British Embassy in Abidjan.