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Facilitating the Advancement of OGP’s Thematic Priorities

Funded by the Open Government Partnership Multi-Donor Trust Fund

Call for proposals now closed.

Interested in learning more about this Call for Expressions of Interest? Join us for webinars on Wednesday, August 8th at 9:00AM EST or 9:00PM EST.


One of the strengths of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) has been its ability to bring together the rich, diverse experiences of government and civil society reformers and tap into the expertise of OGP’s strategic partners through structured and sustained advocacy, technical assistance, and learning directed at developing and implementing ambitious open government commitments. Recognizing that a lack of financial support and technical capacity is a key constraint to the realization of ambitious open government reforms, OGP and the World Bank, led by the Governance Global Practice (GGP), established the OGP Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) to support World Bank client countries in completing their OGP commitments; broadening the stakeholder base, particularly by leveraging the Bank’s convening power in countries and subnational entities engaged in the OGP; supporting non-OGP countries that are considering participation; deepening the research on results and impact; and increasing the scale and effectiveness of OGP-related Bank operations.

The OGP MDTF program on Advancing OGP’s Thematic Priorities is specifically targeted at promoting the ambitious uptake of OGP’s thematic priorities by helping to catalyze a “race to the top” on emerging open government norms through use of the OGP platform at the national-local and global level. The OGP MDTF is seeking organizations outside the public or for-profit sector that will strengthen and promote coalitions of governments and civil society organizations engaged in cross-country learning, peer exchange, policy development and advocacy in support of uptake of OGP’s thematic priorities (please see Eligibility Requirements below for details of the type of eligible organizations).

OGP’s 2018 Thematic Priorities

Raising the collective ambition of governments and civil society across sectors is at the heart of OGP’s strategic objectives. This requires governments to maximize their action plans to tackle the biggest problems facing their countries as well as adapting emerging standards and best practice to implement open government reforms suited to the local context. It also means using OGP as an advocacy platform to push for high-impact reforms in different open government policy areas. Most significantly, it requires building new coalitions of reformers to spur collective action in the face of formidable public policy challenges facing OGP countries.

Recognizing this, OGP has initiated a strategic push for stronger thematic leadership enabled by a robust ecosystem of sector-based partnerships for effective advocacy, better peer learning, and sharing expertise, knowledge resources and tools to catalyze more ambitious open government reforms tackling issues that will make a real difference in the lives of citizens (health, education, anti-corruption, for example).

In 2018, a core objective for OGP is to promote the uptake of ambitious reforms in a focused set of thematic priorities through national and local action plans. The OGP MDTF will support activities that advance different areas of the 2016 Paris Declaration on Open Government, including a special emphasis in 2018 on the OGP Steering Committee agreed priorities of:

1. Anti-Corruption:

  • Beneficial Ownership
  • Open Contracting
  • Policy Capture
  • Natural resources and extractives governance

2. Public Service Delivery

  • Health
  • Education
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Housing/ Infrastructure

While the above themes will be prioritized, proposals in other Paris Declaration areas (such as Access to Justice, Fiscal Openness, Access to Information, etc.) will also be considered.

Cross-cutting Priorities: Gender Equality, Inclusion, and Civic Engagement

Additionally, cross-cutting issues like Parliaments, Gender Equality, Inclusion, and Civic Engagement will be emphasized across all programs supported by the OGP MDTF. Preference will be given to applications that explicitly promote gender equality, advance the empowerment of women and girls, broaden engagement to include voices from marginalized and underrepresented communities, create access for people with disabilities, or deepen civic engagement through greater citizen input in policy-making and feedback on government services. Organizations may express interest to support these issues through one EOI for each cross-cutting issue.


A core objective for OGP is to promote the uptake of ambitious reforms in a focused set of thematic priorities through national and local action plans. This program of the OGP MDTF is specifically targeted at advancing ambitious uptake of OGP’s thematic priorities by supporting a “race to the top” on emerging open government norms at the national/local and global levels as facilitated by a partner with subject matter expertise in the thematic areas and experience in engaging government and civil society stakeholders.

Program Scope

The organization will focus on designing and implementing a comprehensive program to facilitate the convening of experts and country- and local-level government and civil society actors for cross-country learning, peer networking and exchange, advocacy, and policy development in support developing and implementing ambitious commitments in priority themes. While the specific mix of activities will be customized based on the state and uptake of the particular theme in OGP and suitable to regional/local contexts, the organization should include activities that:

  • Connect relevant practitioners to address specific open government implementation obstacles in OGP countries/locals.
  • Advance multi-country, cross-region, collective action to encourage more ambitious uptake of emerging open government norms, including targeted advocacy and awareness raising.
  • Create opportunities for sharing data, knowledge, lessons learned, best practice, experiences, inspiration, and technical expertise among peer government and civil society participants.
  • Build capacity of practitioners through sharing technical expertise or developing skills needed to coordinate complex reforms across multiple stakeholders.
  • Reinforce learning across the action plan cycle that support outcomes (e.g. increased number of high quality commitments in action plans and support to tackle implementation challenges) versus outputs (i.e. stand-alone workshops).
  • Support the development, adoption, and use of practical tools and knowledge resources that can help with the co-creation and implementation of more ambitious commitments.
  • Tie peer learning with the creation and dissemination of knowledge products such as result stories, case studies, etc.
  • Use mixed methods of learning and exchange including workshops, training, study tours, hackathons, etc.
  • Produce analytical outputs that become public goods to serve as a future resource for sharing among the open government community (e.g. papers summarizing lessons learned from peer learning and exchange activities).
  • Support implementing agencies with the implementation of OGP commitments.
  • Support learning with practitioners involved in World Bank global partnerships and locally implemented projects and programs that are relevant to OGP commitments.

Intended beneficiaries

The intended beneficiaries of these activities should be:

  1. Government or civil society from OGP countries/ Local participants.
  2. World-Bank client countries – where the World Bank works to help address development challenges. For example, Liberia as a World Bank client can benefit from a peer learning program on Open Contracting but the UK, a non-client partner, cannot. The UK, however, can participate as a peer supplier of expertise/ knowledge.
  3. Able to illustrate demand by having a commitment in an action plan, interested in developing a commitment in an action plan in the particular thematic area, or having explicitly asked for peer learning support.
  4. Non-OGP countries can be beneficiaries if supported to meet eligibility criteria. Countries that are not yet eligible to join OGP may participate in thematic learning to support an improvement in their scores on OGP’s eligibility criteria. For more information on OGP’s Eligibility Criteria, please click here.

Amount and duration

The OGP MDTF will support activities up to US$100,000 annually for a maximum of two years (i.e. US$200,000 for two years).

Who Can Apply

Entities that would be eligible are legal entities that fall outside the public or for-profit sector, including non-government organizations, not-for-profit media organizations, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional organizations, labor unions, workers’ organizations, associations of elected local representatives, foundations and policy development and research institutes.

As outlined in the Guidance Note on Bank Multi-Stakeholder Engagement, the World Bank has outlined the following qualities to consider in selecting partners:

  • Credibility: acceptability to both stakeholders and government;
  • Competence: relevant technical skills, and proven track record across all areas for which activities have been proposed;
  • Local knowledge: understanding of local context based on experience. Main implementing civil society must provide evidence of its experience (at least 3-5 years) in open government:
  • Representation: community ties, accountability to members’ beneficiaries, diversity and gender equality:
  • Governance: sound internal management policies and practices, comprising organizational dimensions, such as clear management roles and responsibilities, clear methods of planning and organizing activities, human capital, financial and technical resources, and partnerships:
  • Financial accountability: including annual audited financial statements, having a bank account in the country where the civil society has legal status, and be authorized to receive grant funding directly from the World Bank, should the proposal be selected;
  • Transparency: including disclosure of sources of funding, financial accountability and governance transparency;
  • Legal status: formal registration in that country/local. The applicant civil society and implementing partners are required to provide a copy of their legal status, including type of civil society and year of establishment; and
  • Institutional capacity: sufficient scale of operations, facilities, and equipment.

Preference will be given to proposals where the applicant:

  • Promotes exchanges with knowledge experts or practitioners with relevant experience from OGP member and World Bank client countries to encourage South-South learning.
  • Demonstrates collaboration with World Bank country office or HQ staff to foster learning and engagement among knowledge experts and practitioners with the Bank’s operational portfolio.
  • Promotes inclusiveness in sharing experience, learning, and expertise across regions, including countries lagging behind in the uptake of OGP’s principles and commitments, for example Francophone countries.

The respective applicant shall meet the Bank’s eligibility requirements as outlined in

Organizations may choose to apply as part of a coalition/ consortium focused on joint objectives with one main applicant with the most technical and financial management experience.

Selection Criteria

All eligible EOIs will be evaluated and selected according to the following criteria:

  • Requisite expertise and proven leadership in the particular thematic area.
  • Track record of providing technical assistance, convening thematic networks of practitioners, or adaptive learning programs.
  • Ability to convene a strong coalition of governments, civil society organizations, and other actors such as the private sector around an OGP priority theme.
  • A track record of sufficient capacity to deliver peer learning across multiple OGP countries.
  • Have an established in-country partner network or ability to engage locally in OGP countries.
  • A track record of working with country-based civil society and local experts in OGP countries from a diverse range of geographical regions and income groups.
  • Promotes exchanges with knowledge experts or practitioners with relevant experience from World Bank client countries to encourage South-South learning.
  • Has experience with mainstreaming gender and inclusion and engaging with government, development partners and civil society, including women’s groups and underrepresented communities.
  • Demonstrates ability to work in international and multi-disciplinary teams.

Application Process

The application process consists of two phases. First, Expressions of Interest will be solicited via an open call which will be evaluated by the OGP MDTF Team based on objective criteria focusing on relevant experience in OGP and in the thematic area. Second, organizations that are selected will be issued a Request for Proposal, inviting them to submit a detailed technical and financial proposal that will be evaluated by the OGP MDTF Team based on objective criteria focusing on approach, qualifications, work plan, sustainable knowledge transfer and capacity building. Winning proposals will receive an award upon completion of contractual negotiations with the World Bank Group.

Phase I

Step 1: Complete the Expression of Interest Form for one of OGP’s thematic priorities. Organizations that wish to apply to more than one thematic area must submit separate applications with details applicable for that particular theme.

Step 2: Attach a Cover Letter from your organization according to the following guidelines:

  1. Title “Application for Facilitation of Cross Country Learning to Advance OGP’s Thematic Priorities”
  2. Mandate of the organization
  3. History of the organization
  4. Statement on commitment for: i) the proactive incorporation of delivery of the Program into the organization; ii) one- or two-year collaboration; and iii) a commitment to deliver a set number of milestones, activities, and deliverables. We recognize that it may be too early to define activities and outputs in specific terms. However, at this stage we are seeking a commitment to developing and delivering a comprehensive program of work that involves multiple activities and deliverables in the cover letter. We suggest an indicative baseline of 4-6 actions and outputs, details of which can be re-assessed during program design at the RFP phase.
  5. Signed by the head of organization.

Step 3: Complete the Firm Qualification Questionnaire.

Step 4: Submit the (i) Expression of Interest, (ii) Cover Letter and (iii) Firm Qualification Questionnaire to Aichida Ul-Aflaha at by August 17, 2018.

Step 5: Applications received by organizations that have submitted all required documentation will be reviewed by the OGP MDTF Team. Applicants will be notified whether they are shortlisted or not.

Phase II

Step 6: Shortlisted applicants will receive a Request for Proposal consisting of detailed technical and financial proposals. Separate RFPs will be issued for individual thematic areas to shortlisted organizations for the respective topic. The Technical Proposal should specify the organization’s relevant experience, theory of change and approach, qualifications, work plan with activities, deliverables and proposed outcomes, and strategy for sustainable knowledge transfer and capacity building. The Financial Proposal will outline all proposed costs of the project.

Step 7: All invited proposals will be evaluated based on objective criteria and following an evaluation of the Proposals and an organizational assessment, the award will be made upon completion of contractual negotiations with the World Bank Group. Awarded organizations must be able to meet the vendor eligibility requirements of the World Bank Group.

Learn more in our webinars:

Information Session 1 – Advancing OGP’s Thematic Priorities
Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 9:00 – 10:30AM EST
When it’s time, join the meeting.
Join by phone +1-650-479-3207 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
Meeting number (access code): 732 292 563
Global call-in numbers

Information Session 2 – Advancing OGPs Thematic Priorities
Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 9:00 – 10:30 PM EST.
When it’s time, join the meeting
Join by phone +1-650-479-3207 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
Meeting number (access code): 738 315 992
Global call-in numbers


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