Open contracting at the Africa Open Data Conference

July 12, 2017

The second Africa Open Data Conference is being held in Accra, Ghana from 17 to 21 July 2017 at the Accra International Conference Centre. This year, various African countries will be represented through government leaders, industry executives, civil society, telecommunications organisations, researchers, data journalists, students, innovators, entrepreneurs, donors, investors, farmers, health care workers and others.

The core themes of the forum are the implications of open data for gender, health, agriculture, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the extractives industry and education. The forum aims to identify issues related to access and use of open data, facilitate stakeholder engagement to increase open data use in Africa, and drive use of open data by business, the media, governments, civil society and the public. In addition, it is expected to promote the development and harmonization of data standards and identify the data regime needed to create robust systems for achieving and implementing the SDGs. Ultimately, it is hoped that the forum will stimulate and increase the demand for open government data not only in Ghana, but across Africa.

Open Contracting

Leading the open contracting data movement at the event, Hivos East  and Southern Africa hubs and Article 19 will together hold two side events, ‘Follow the Money’ (FtM) and ‘Advancing Open Contracting in Africa’, that will convene investigative journalists, private sector, civil society organizations, government officials and the donor community.

Our side events will provide an understanding of Open Contracting: the publishing and use of open and accessible information on government contracting to engage citizens and businesses in identifying and fixing problems. We will assess the status and challenges of its readiness for adoption in Africa, explore measures for private sector leadership in advancing open contracting in Africa, and interrogate ways to entrench Open Contracting principles, policies, practices – including reporting and the building of strategic partnerships – to realize the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Leveraging on the growing commitment to open government data as an enabler and outcome in the SDGs, our side events will further focus on the disclosure and publishing of Open Contracting data in re-usable formats in each stage of the public contracting cycle.

Key messages of events

  • The multi-trillion dollar world of public contracting between governments and business for goods and services we use every day must be open and transparent.
  • Open contracting is a key tool to make government dealings relevant to citizens and business.
  • It is how tax payers’ money is spent on the roads, schools and hospitals that matter to citizens around the world.

Open Contracting is a new approach, vital in improving the efficiency and transparency of public procurement systems and useful in detecting fraud and corruption. It encourages competition for public contracts, demonstrates value for money and monitors service delivery. Essentially, it opens up the entire contracting process from cradle to grave:  planning, implementation and termination.