Last year, the Web Foundation’s Open Data Lab in Jakarta collaborated with the World Bank in a project to engage citizens in an open contracting pilot project in the Bandung City Government. Open contracting is a programme to increase transparency and accountability of the public procurement system. In Indonesia, the pilot programme was held in Bandung City.
Our project aimed to increase the understanding and use of contracting-focused data analytics and to strengthen civic tech skills to develop viable data-driven innovations to benefit specific stakeholders. In the process, we conducted three programmes: (1) incubation for civic tech communities; (2) capacity building for journalists; and (3) visualthon for students.
Incubation for tech communities
In the incubation programme, we worked together with civic tech communities to create apps and prototypes using the existing public procurement data in Bandung City. The incubation programme showed that the open contracting data is still insufficient and difficult to use. Using the available data, the incubation programme successfully created apps to trace spending on transportation-related procurement and provide tailored information on procurement opportunities for business sector, as well as a dashboard to trace and monitor the procurement process of disposable health equipment.
Capacity building for journalists
We also held a two-day workshop with journalists on how to utilise public procurement data and translate data in news reporting. We believe that the media is one of the most effective channels to communicate and disseminate information about the government’s procurement process. Moreover, the media could act as a watchdog for the process. Four articles utilising the public procurement data were published in local media at the end of the project.
Visualthon for students
When thinking about procurement, students are often not on the radar of key stakeholders. However, in this project we engaged with visual communication design students to create infographics on the public procurement process, with the aim of disseminating the importance of the public procurement process and the reasons why citizens should monitor the process. Eleven infographics were presented to the public at the end of the project. Bandung City Government also used these infographics in their communication materials to disseminate their work on open contracting.
Although it is still early days for the open contracting programme in Bandung, we learned many great lessons— not only about the implementation of the open contracting project in the city, but also about the characteristics of engagements that can contribute to the practice of open contracting in Bandung City. Learn more about our experience in conducting this tailored approach for different open contracting stakeholders in our lessons learned paper.
For more information about this project, Follow the Lab at @ODLabJkt and visit labs.webfoundation.orgTo receive a weekly news brief on the most important stories in tech, subscribe to The Web This Week.