The Web Foundation’s Open Data Lab in Jakarta, in collaboration with the World Bank, is working on a project that will demonstrate different ways in increasing citizen engagement with open contracting data. This is part of the World Bank programme implemented in the city of Bandung in Indonesia, that starts off with the disclosure of contracting data by the city’s procurement agency in order to strengthen transparency and accountability in public procurement. We want to stimulate meaningful use of procurement data by civic tech groups, government watchdogs, researchers, journalists, students, service delivery providers, and private businesses.
Opening contracting and procurement data for a better city
Our project is a part of the Open Contracting Pilot Project, a joint effort of Indonesian National Procurement Agency (LKPP), Bandung City, and the World Bank that aims to improve the availability, accessibility and use of data, information and statistics related to public contracting. Focusing on Bandung city, the project has three components:
- Publication of contracting data and information in open data formats,
- Development of key performance indicators on public procurement, and
- Facilitation of citizen engagement and practical use of the data and statistics, through the provision of ICT tools and targeted capacity building.
At the Jakarta Lab, we’re involved with Component 3. The activities follow the release of open contracting tools that were developed through the project, namely: an online public portal for visualising information, an open contracting data API, and an analytics dashboard. We’re bringing together government officials, civil society organisations, and businessmen to build their awareness and capacities around the use of open contracting data.
Where there’s a will, we make ways
To tackle this project and achieve our set goals, we started off by conducting a use-case research to identify potential uses of data by different stakeholder groups. The results of the research informed our three main strategies in cultivating data use: an incubation programme, a capacity building programme for data journalists, and a “visualthon” competition. Each one targets different audiences and capacities, but simultaneously opens gateways for collaboration or closer work across the groups.
- Incubation Programme
The on-going incubation programme is designed to demonstrate the value of open contracting for different user groups, such as the private sector, transparency advocates, non-governmental organisations, and concerned public. We worked with three teams to develop a prototype or proof-of-concept that shows how procurement data can be used to advance transparency, improve and increase efficiency of service delivery in Bandung.
Currently, the teams are developing the prototype using procurement data from the Bandung city government and BIRMS portal. They’re analysing data and building the application or platform, with the output to be showcased at the Open Contracting Expo.
- Capacity building for journalists
Beginning in October 13 and 14, we held a workshop aimed to strengthen the capacity of infomediaries (journalists) in using open contracting data to provide evidence-based reportage on contracting issues. The event consisted of training in data collection, scraping, and building narratives that reflect findings and results from contracting data.
Journalists from more than 15 media outlets operating in Bandung city participated in the workshop. Currently, we’re running a competition challenging them to develop a journalistic piece on contracting data stories from the Bandung city government and BIRMS portal, in the form of articles or videos. The competition winner will be announced also at the Open Contracting Expo. In the process, we are also providing on-site mentoring to assist them in improving their outputs in data-driven journalism.
Finally, in October 31, we’re organising and holding a ‘visualthon’ competition aiming to increase citizen and students awareness of the actuality, value, and impact of open contracting data. We’re inviting 36 visual communications design students from 12 universities across Bandung city to develop infographics centred on the BIRMS portal – its existence and importance – and how people can be involved in the contracting processes in Bandung.
Similar to the incubation programme and data journalism training, the results of the visualthon competition will be announced and showcased at the Open Contracting Expo.
Join us in celebrating the achievements!
In the final week of November 2018, we’re holding the Open Contracting Expo—an event designed to showcase and celebrate the findings and outputs of the project. We’re eager to share how our partners and the participants worked with open contracting data, from developing a mobile application, to writing compelling narratives and inspiring visuals. To learn more about the event details – where and when exactly it will take place! – and the progress of the project, follow us on Twitter @ODLabJkt. We hope to see you there!