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Civic Engagement for Open Contracting

Project Duration: August 2019-July 2020
Grantor: Hivos
Principal Investigator: Dr. Nicholas Ozor
Contact Email:
Grant Amount: EUR 35,000 

Project Description/Background

There have been various interventions advancing Open Contracting (OC) in Africa, with diverse results and degrees of progress. Various implementing actors have approached their programming in different ways. It is against this background that a comparative study is required to assess what’s working well, lessons learnt, replicated and scaled up to realize open contracting in Africa. 

The level of transparency and accountability in the procurement process in most African countries is very low. According to the World Bank, public procurement accounts for nearly 15 per cent of GDP per capita in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA). However, the expenditure of these funds by African governments has little impact on the livelihoods of its citizens. This has been exacerbated by the absence of appropriate accountability mechanisms and insufficient legal and regulatory framework to ensure targeted funding of essential services such as education, health and transport. Ghost funding and poor service delivery have been the trend in many African countries despite there being some efforts across Africa to increase transparency and accountability in the public procurement process.

Key Objectives and Activities

This project aims at assessing the levels of progress, innovations, collaborations and typologies of reforms that can be replicated and scaled up to advance open contracting in Africa. Specifically, this study aims to:

  1. Conduct an in-depth review of the state of open contracting in ten (10) African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa);
  2. Conduct a comparative analysis of the state of open contracting in the selected African countries to identify and document what works, what doesn’t work and why in the implementation of open contracting in the respective countries; and
  3. Conduct lobbying and advocacy activities through the use of knowledge products to advocate for the uptake of open contracting in African countries.

Our Approach

This study will entail a comprehensive desk study as well as to conduct key informant interviews and focus group discussions in the 10 target countries.

Expected Outputs/Deliverables

  1. A comprehensive report of the status of open contracting in the selected African countries including a comparative analysis of the different countries, models adopted, good practices recorded, key challenges experienced, enablers and constrainers, and key recommendations going forward.
  2. Policy briefs and communication materials to advocate for open contracting in Africa.

Expected Outcome

  • Increased engagements, inclusive consultations and adoption of open contracting in the target countries by understanding the typology and state of open contracting, lessons learnt and what can be replicated and up-scaled.

Project Outputs


  1. Embracing Open Contracting-Policy Brief
  2. The State of Open Contracting in Selected African Countries-Report


  1. Civic Engagement for Open Contracting
  2. Short video on the need for Open Contracting 

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