CoST and partners unite top influences and innovators to make open contracting the new norm

From 28 - 29 November CoST and partners, Open Contracting, Hivos, The B Team and Article 19 brought together 200 influencers and innovators from government, the private sector and civil society at Open Contracting Global 2017 (#OCGlobal17) to share lessons and collaborate to make open contracting the new norm in five years.

George Ofori on the keynote panelThe two-day event heard experiences from all sectors in very different contexts; during the opening panel for example, Maria Victoria Angulo, Secretary of Education, Colombia shared how open contracting exposed shocking revelations in the procurement of school meals, whereas YIaroslav Zelinsky, from the All Ukrainian Network of People living with HIV spoke about how open contracting impacts on the cost and availability of essential drugs.

Infrastructure was also a key theme of the event, as event organisers CoST facilitated and participated in breakout and plenary sessions, with George Ofori, Deputy Chair of the CoST Board joining keynote panellists to discuss ‘the future of open contracting’ and CoST International facilitating ‘deep dive’ sessions to discuss why transparency in infrastructure is important and how CoST helps. During a collaboration coffee we used the example of the UK’s Crossrail to map out a mega infrastructure project and we facilitated a session for experts on how to address challenges in using data to drive change.

Left, CoST consultant Hamish Goldie Scot and CoST Uganda Country Manager Lyford Gideon The event was not a typical conference - its agenda adapted to participants' demands and its sessions were catered to experience levels. To conclude, ambitious commitments were made by CoST, co-organisers and many others from across sectors. The most significant of these was the Clean Contracting Manifesto on public procurement, infrastructure and sustainable development, which, among other things, recognises the economic benefit and significant investment of infrastructure and consequent loss that the sector experiences due to corruption. The Manifesto focuses on ensuring that the whole life cycle of public procurement is implemented to the highest possible standards of transparency, accountability and efficiency and in the public interest.

In addition to this commitment, we also announced that in 2018 we will be launching a specific infrastructure profile of the Open Contracting Data Standard which expands on our existing CoST - Infrastructure Data Standard.

Looking ahead CoST and partners will continue supporting each other’s efforts and relationships with participants. Where possible, we will assist participants to develop some of the ideas which emerged from the conference which are outlined in the final  Conference Report (see pages 10 – 15). We will also be meeting at important open contracting events in 2018, including several where infrastructure is a focus, such as the Final Leaders’ Summit of the G20 in Argentina, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Integrity Forum, the Open Government Partnership Summit and the Open Data Conference.

Useful links

CoST Ukraine Country Manager, Natalie Forsyuk on film, talking through the value of multi-stakeholder workingDuring the event CoST Ukraine Country Manager, Natalie Forsyuk and other experts shared their experiences for the #OCGlobal17 talking heads video. Natalie focuses on one Multi-stakeholder working, one of CoST’s core features, which provides an important platform for government, industry and civil society to pursue infrastructure transparency [watch Natalie at 5.00].

In the lead up to the event, a blog series welcomed submissions from participants and facilitators. Click through to read blogs from CoST International and CoST Malawi.

Other information


Date Published: 18 January 2018
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