New Initiative for Social Development has recorded yet another landmark with Ekiti state government as they were the only organization and state in Nigeria to be selected for the advancement of procurement reforms across the globe. Seven projects from France, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, and the United States have been selected to advance procurement reforms as part of the Open Contracting Partnership’s impact accelerator program Lift.
During a year that was dominated by the pandemic, it was clear that the current, largely paper-based and closed public procurement systems are not meeting the needs of our time. Public procurement – while critical for providing essential public services like managing health services or floods and buying life-saving goods such as protective equipment – is in urgent need for reform.
The Lift impact accelerator will support the chosen teams from civil society and public administration to enhance their efforts to reform public procurement, through better data, open and participatory processes, and technical and financial assistance.
“We are proud to support these bold frontline innovators who will leverage the untapped power of public procurement to achieve greater social inclusion, increase environmental sustainability, and deliver more equitable government services,” says Kathrin Frauscher, Deputy Executive Director of the Open Contracting Partnership.
Over the next 18 months, the Open Contracting Partnership will support the selected teams as they open and strengthen their procurement systems and build their team capacity to make procurement more community-centered and effective for all.
- France – European Metropolis of Lille: Lille will increase the share of small and medium businesses as suppliers and ensure purchases are more environmentally sustainable and inclusive. To achieve this goal, they will implement an open purchasing strategy. This project will be implemented in collaboration with the Municipalities of Lille, the Association for a Solidarity Economy, Regional Chamber of Social and Solidarity Economy, the Regional Union for Integration through Economic Activity, Employment Center, the Northern Management Center, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Chamber of Trades and Crafts.
- India – CivicDataLab: CivicDataLab will support a more equitable distribution of public goods, services, and works procured for flood relief in the State of Assam. It will build data-driven tools that will enable public officials to make smarter, data-informed decisions about public spending. This project will be implemented in collaboration with members of the Government of Assam, including the Finance Department.
- Mexico – City of Mexico: The City of Mexico’s Digital Agency for Public Innovation and Ministry of Administration and Finance will expand opportunities for businesses run by female entrepreneurs, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and/or cooperatives. They will digitize and open up direct and lower-cost procedures, increasing access to opportunities to work with the city government. This project will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion and, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, Social Glass, Inc. and the Ministry of Economic Development.
- Nigeria – Ekiti State: The Ekiti State Bureau of Public Procurement will support access to economic opportunity for SMEs, particularly women-led SMEs. It will reform their full procurement process to be more open, transparent, and user-friendly. This project will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the New Initiative for Social Development.
- Paraguay – National Directorate of Public Procurement (DNCP): The DNCP will increase the participation of micro-, small- and medium businesses in public procurement. They will fully review their procurement process focusing on the needs of these companies and facilitate access to procurement as a digital service. This project will be implemented in collaboration with the Association of Entrepreneurs of Paraguay and the Center for Sustainable Development.
- United States – City of Des Moines: The City of Des Moines’ City Manager’s Office and Division of Finance-Procurement will support sustainability and social equity within their community. It will open up access to the city’s public procurement, reimagine their procurement process, and increase vendor diversity. This project will be implemented in collaboration with key stakeholders from the State of Iowa and business development organizations.
- United States – City of El Paso: The City of El Paso’s Purchasing & Strategic Sourcing Department will look at implementing national and international best practices for being intentionally inclusive of veteran, minority and women-owned enterprises in its contracting process. Identifying inclusive, strategic and innovative practices for its supplier outreach process support the City’s focus on continuous improvement and building a strong and inclusive business community. This project will be carried out in collaboration with the City of El Paso, the Contract Opportunities Center and the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and will also involve engagement with communities and other partners within El Paso’s Community of Excellence.
The Open Contracting Partnership was impressed by the interest and quality of applications for this year’s program. Together with a panel of expert judges, the organization selected the seven teams from more than 100 proposals from 45 countries.
Lift is the Open Contracting Partnership’s program that helps teams of procurement reformers propel their ambitious plans towards systemic change. The program will kick off with an inaugural virtual workshop in August. Each team receives up to $30,000 of financial support and 200 hours of tailored technical assistance on change management, inclusion, open contracting strategies, and more.