Elevate public services: How will you change public contracting to radically improve goods, works or services?

Open Contracting Lift

You want contracts that deliver results for everyone. You also know change is hard. Open Contracting Lift helps you with goal-driven reform & change management.

How will you change public contracting to radically improve goods, works, and services, or expand economic opportunity? Open Contracting Lift is our program that helps teams of bold procurement reformers propel their ambitious plans towards systemic change. Lift works with teams that use public contracting to support an inclusive and effective recovery including by:

  • Expanding economic opportunity: boost opportunities for women-, minority-owned, or local businesses to participate in public procurement, or build the capacity of small, locally-owned businesses to compete and win government contracts.  
  • Improving public services and infrastructure: stock hospitals fairly with the best medicines and protective equipment, equip public schools with the supplies and infrastructure they need to serve students and their families, build higher quality public housing, or expand access to affordable and green public transit.
  • Increasing government effectiveness and accountability: improve integrity through monitoring and advocacy, increase competition and reducing sole sourcing, use data and insight for decision-making, or work more efficiently to reduce the cost of issuing public contracts.

The program focuses on providing change management and open contracting support. Over 18 months, the selected Lift teams receive extensive, tailored support from leading experts and peers to deliver better goods, works or services for everyone through new contracting strategies. Learn how to build leadership support to drive a robust mandate for public contracting reforms, improve the use of open data, and establish new ways of working with public contracts to deliver strong results.

Mexico City shares bikes and supplier insights

Mexico City’s bike share program is one of the largest of its kind in Latin America. Now in operation for a decade, the ECOBICI system is being revamped and tailored to the needs of the 321,000 bike riders who use the service. The expansion will prioritize underserved communities and connections to the City’s public transportation system. During the Open Contracting Lift program, the team from Mexico City is working to open up its public contracting process and streamline its supplier selection process to offer a cheap, clean and convenient mode of transport to city’s residents.

«Our project to renew and expand Ecobici to serve all our citizens will be a landmark open contracting project for CDMX that we will replicate.»

Big opportunities for small businesses in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is home to nearly a quarter of Argentina’s smaller businesses, and the government would like to do more to include these firms in its procurement processes. Led by the City of Buenos Aires, this project aims to make the city’s procurement more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises through open data and incentivizing their participation.

New Orleans: Building a vibrant supplier base for a vibrant city

Disadvantaged women- and minority-owned businesses are underrepresented in the procurement market of New Orleans. The City aims to award more contracts to these firms by making procurement data more user-friendly, changing policies to increase accessibility, and conducting outreach.

«We want to make sure our procurement system is holistic and reflective of the City’s values.»

The cost of good health in Moldova

Moldova has some of the highest rates of HIV and tuberculosis in Europe, but medicines to treat these conditions are often very expensive or not available. The civil society group Positive Initiative wants all patients to have timely access to quality drugs at the best price. They are working with the government’s center for health procurement to measurably reduce the cost of essential medicines by establishing an oversight system for medical procurement purchases.

We’re rethinking how we can procure and price essential medicines for TB and HP to save lives — our motto is 100% Life.»


Ecuador unlocks opaque procurement

In Ecuador, corruption and a lack of transparency in the public contracting system has led to poor purchases, particularly in the health sector, where medicines are expensive and shortages are common. The National Public Procurement Service is working with civil society to establish an observatory for monitoring public procurement modeling best practices with the upcoming medicine framework contract to improve the supply of affordable drugs. To increase transparency, they are developing a platform to publish all public procurement information as structured open data in the Open Contracting Data Standard, as well as the for infrastructure through the OC4IDS.

«We want to become an open contracting country.»

Contact us

Kaye Sklar,
Lift Program Manager

Learn about the Open Contracting Lift reform program

Lift is a competitive program that we expect to run every two years. Teams are selected based on their ambition and feasibility of their reform goals, as well as team capacity.

The call for applications is currently closed, but we can still help you with designing and implementing your open contracting reform. Here are some good resources, templates and examples that will help you on your journey to impact. We also encourage you to join our Lift Learning Circles to share and learn from your peers.

You can also always reach out to Kaye, our Lift manager, to get advice on using these materials and to learn more about the Lift program.

Program structure

The program has two phases.

Phase 1: Planning
3-5 months

In Phase I, we work closely with the five selected teams of reformers to develop their plans. The teams learn how to identify strategic entry points, engage stakeholders, apply contracting practices to become more effective, and build robust reform strategies for implementation and monitoring impact.

Phase 2: Implementation
Approximately 12 months

In Phase II of Lift, we support teams on two tracks:

  • Results track: For teams that can achieve measurable results and impact within the 12 months. These teams will receive intense support from OCP and partners on open contracting and change management for the rest of the year to help them guide implementation and accelerate progress, including group workshops or seminars.
  • Foundations track: For teams that need more time to refine their plans, invest in building blocks or test prototypes. We will work with these teams over a lengthier time period so long as their reforms are making progress. These teams will continue to receive OCP assistance, which will ramp up or down according to OCP’s engagement criteria.

Selection process
Lift is a competitive program, open to teams of reformers from governmental and non-governmental organizations from around the world. In our first generation of Lift, we received 77 applications from over 30 countries. Teams were selected based on their potential impact, capacity and feasibility of reform plans. Read more about our selection process from the first generation of Lift. If you want to get ready for the next round of Lift, please read here what makes a strong proposal.