Governments around the world spend trillions of dollars a year through contracts, on everything from buying office supplies to building airports. These contracts—known as public procurement—are a top source of corruption risk. But they’re also a huge opportunity, as fair and transparent government spending can foster entrepreneurship and deliver high quality goods and services to improve people’s lives. That’s the idea behind “open contracting,” a movement at the cutting edge of open government; proponents of open contracting encourage the publication and use of open, timely data on government spending.
Like many new and visionary ideas, open contracting is a movement of diverse actors, with different stakes in and different viewpoints on public procurement. That’s why a consortium of partners—the Open Contracting Partnership, Hivos, CoST, B Team, Article 19—decided to host a global convening, “Open Contracting 2017.” Their goal was to articulate the current state of open contracting, and to develop a shared vision for where it’s going. With more than 200 participants from 37 countries planning to attend, the consortium engaged Reboot as a design and facilitation partner for this milestone meeting.