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Making the case for open contracting: How can OCP help you?

The demand for open contracting has increased enormously over the past two years as governments around the world come under pressure to reform outdated, paper-based procurement systems that failed to perform in the pandemic. The number one demand for help from our community, especially civil society, is to help you make the case for change and convert post-crisis reform energy into lasting, sustainable institutional change. So as promised, we’ve spent the last several months refining and improving our advocacy support offer.

Now, we would love to invite you to join us for a community call on 22 March at 10:30 ET / 14:30 GMT to share your feedback on our new services and tools and take your questions. Register here!

We’ve put together this new offering with feedback from several of our partners, and we greatly appreciate all your input to date. We see this as a pilot version, and will continue to keep an open ear to hear how we can strengthen our tools and services as we roll them out more widely.

Our new offer includes three types of support: 

1) Training 

2) Advocacy toolkit 

3) Rapid response ‘mini grants’

Read on for a brief summary of all three types of support below, and follow the links to dive into all the details! 

1. Training sessions

We heard that you’d appreciate more training and skill sharing on advocacy to help you make a convincing case for the adoption of open contracting, and work around the often entrenched powerful interests who want to maintain the status quo. To this end, we came up with a graded model of training to meet the needs of both organizations who are new to advocacy, and organizations who are more experienced but need extra inspiration and creativity when trying to get around a particularly difficult challenge.

We will offer training in three formats:

We will include case studies and insights relevant to open government and procurement reform, and cover a range of advocacy activities from strategies for building power to counter vested interests to coalition building to messaging and tactical campaign planning. 

Full session summaries are available on the advocacy training page.

2. Advocacy toolkit

We also heard you appreciate advocacy materials such as evidence, case studies, and arguments that can save you time when putting together your campaigns. And we hear from our partners in the Lift program and elsewhere that they really value not just evidence, but tools and frameworks to plan theory reform strategies and map their potential supporters and detractors. To this end we’ve created a comprehensive advocacy toolkit that includes step-by-step guidance to walk you through the development of an advocacy strategy and implementation plan, with templates, discussion guides, ready-made briefing and evidence materials, and FAQs to common sticking points.

3. Rapid response ‘mini grants’

We also recognize that great advocacy campaigns often require resources — human and financial. Your time is valuable, and designing materials or hosting events (when safe to do so!) comes at a cost. We also heard from you that advocacy opportunities do not always run on a specific schedule, and you often need to take advantage of political windows quickly.

We have supported many of our partners with small amounts of funding for advocacy work already, and we want to formalize this and share clear criteria with you on the types of advocacy work we can support, and how to request it. We want to be able to offer this support to turbocharge your efforts to take advantage of immediate opportunities to make a real impact and shift policy, regulation, and practice with tangible outcomes. Plus, we don’t want long application processes or rigid timelines to get in the way of great campaigns. 

You can find full details of the criteria for eligibility and how to apply on our advocacy funding page.
We’re excited to bring our advocacy support under a more formal banner, and we can’t wait to learn, iterate and innovate with you as we make the case for change in public procurement. Get in touch with us at engage@open-contracting.org with your questions and feedback.