Hivos and ARTICLE 19 are releasing today a report  and scoping studies on 15 countries reviewing the readiness of governments and civil society to publish and use open contracting data. The scoping studies, conducted under supervision of the Open Contracting Partnership, point out opportunities and challenges regarding making public contracting more efficient and transparent, and identify needs and capacities of civil society to help translate available contracting data into actionable information. The countries covered are Bangladesh, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The report finds that to ensure efficient and transparent public spending through its contracts, governments need to: make strong commitments to open contracting; draft legislation that guarantees public access to information on public contracts; disclose contracting data and documents using the Open Contracting Data Standard;  and provide feedback channels to foster strong engagement of citizens, civil society organizations and the private sector.
The Open Contracting Data programme of Hivos and ARTICLE 19 focuses on supporting independent journalists, activists, entrepreneurs, academics and civic watchdog organizations in their efforts to scrutinize contracting data and public revenue flows, make them understandable for citizens and use them in advocacy campaigns. To monitor public spending, so that the huge sums of money involved are spent honestly and efficiently, following the highest standards of transparency and integrity.
The program will be implemented over the next 4 years in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Indonesia, Philippines and Guatemala, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and partners including the Open Contracting Partnership.