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Research on Impact and Effectiveness of Open Government

Request for Expressions of Interest: Country-Level Research on Public Participation Commitments in OGP

Deadline for Submission: July 8th, 2019

The World Bank Group is requesting Expressions of Interests (EOIs) from organizations with experience in conducting country-level research on areas related to public policy, open government and/or public participation process. This document provides guidelines on how to apply to the OGP Multi Donor Trust Fund, managed by the World Bank. Applicants are encouraged to read this document in entirety before submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI). For more information, visit the World Bank’s Operational Consulting Opportunities website and look for Selection Number 1262703.

 

Objectives

The World Bank will partner with a research organization to answer the following research question: To what extent do variations in the implementation of public participation commitments explain changes in policy outcomes?

The research organization (offeror, or firm) will investigate one OGP commitment area which uses public participation to solve a policy problem, in one OGP country. Commitments may be at early or mature stages of implementation, and ideally should: (i) have high quality performance data collected by the implementing government agency and (ii) be national level policies implemented across geographic / administrative units.

In achieving this objective, the firm will be expected to (i) co-produce with government stakeholders; (ii) leverage engagement with stakeholders to increase the depth, quality, and practical applicability of the analysis and resulting recommendations (this includes leveraging counterpart funding); and (iii) provide value to current and future open government reforms for governments and development partners. The research methodology will be designed to help policymakers apply findings and recommendations in implementing open government reforms.

Background

The Governance Global Practice (GGP) of the World Bank aims to gain a better understanding of the role that underlying drivers and enablers of policy effectiveness play in achieving growth, equity and security in developing countries. These drivers are rooted in power asymmetries and political economic variables such as trust, social cohesion, capture and exclusion. At the frontiers, the World Bank continues to identify how these forces affect efforts to confront corruption, emphasizing the role of transparency and participation – which are the central tenets of open government – to generate exchange in the public policy processes.

To this end the GGP established the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) in 2018. The OGP MDTF seeks to (i) enhance the capacity of countries to develop and implement country-led commitments on open government; (ii) increase the expansion and dissemination of knowledge on the effectiveness and impact of open government reforms; and (iii) increase the dialogue on open government in the World Bank. The main primary beneficiaries of the OGP MDTF are the stakeholders from OGP participating countries and locals who are implementing and promoting open government reforms as stated in their OGP Action Plans.

One of the objectives of the MDTF’s program on “Cross-Country Research, Learning & Thematic Priorities” is to strengthen the evidence base on the impact and effectiveness return on investment of OGP reforms. In order to achieve this, the OGP MDTF seeks to partner with research institutions that will rigorously examine public participation commitments in OGP Action Plans, and their impact on improving policy, government responsiveness and/or accountability in OGP countries. Public participation commitments make up around 30 percent of total commitments in OGP to date. In 2016, OGP made a strategic shift to more strongly encourage governments to move from foundational transparency reforms to mobilizing public participation and feedback. In addition, OGP pledged to support government responsiveness and accountability to that feedback. This shift is informed by a large body of experimental research (e.g. Bjorkman & Svensson) as well as meta-analyses (e.g., Mansuri and Rao, 2014, Fox 2016, OpenGovImpacts) that has investigated the positive impact of public participation and collective action in improving public services or reducing corruption.

However, existing evidence has two limitations: First, the evidence to date does not come from OGP countries and/or investigate OGP commitments. Second, existing evidence is primarily focused on using small units of analysis (project, village, local levels) over short periods of time. In the governance field, where the broader political and institutional environment are crucial to understanding change, the value of this evidence as well as their uptake among OGP national level policymakers appears to be limited. Through this research, the OGP MDTF seeks to take a system-wide view to understanding change and assessing impact by looking at public policies holistically.

Scope of Work

The research findings should directly result in policy recommendations and suggestions for concrete actions to be taken by OGP governments and/or the World Bank to create a conducive development environment while implementing public participation measures. The scope of work will encompass the following plans:

  • Develop a Work Plan to collaborate with the implementing government agency to acquire data on public participation in the OGP commitment with relative ease. This may include the use of primary data gathered previously by the firm for similar studies or publicly available secondary data from other sources. Please refer to the section “To Learn More” below to see examples of national level public participation commitments being implemented locally.
  • Develop a Conceptual Framework and Research Methodology in consultation with researchers and policy makers with the aim of defining and refining the research design, methods, and potential for uptake. Further, the framework and methodology should be informed by the World Bank’s Adaptive Research Principles which seeks to apply a problem driven approach to open government research:
    • Embrace Complexity
    • Avoid testing solutions
    • Co-Produce with Policymakers
    • Draw from a Menu of Instruments
    • Triangulate Multiple sources of data
    • Prioritize the formulation of feedback loops
    • Be ready to respond when the opportunity arises
    • Focus on positive deviance
  • Convene meetings to (i) discuss research design and methods with relevant experts and policy makers and (ii) present findings to relevant Citizens, Civil Society, Government, the World Bank and OGP Support Unit to solicit feedback on utility and generalizability before finalizing the report.
  • Produce Draft Report and Final Report with findings and recommendations for government counterparts.
  • Collaborate with the World Bank, OGP Support Unit and other country level stakeholders to achieve a better understanding of past work and data collected previously and share results, disseminate lessons and connect with a broader network of experts and reformers.
  • Engage with media the findings of the research are communicated widely and have the intended effect on policymakers. This could include creative partnerships with domestic or international media, with a focus on storytelling and data journalism where relevant.
  • Participate in regular meetings and events conducted by the OGP MDTF to document and share lessons learned, enhance approaches, and elevate results.
  • Support administration and management of events related to this research, including planning, budgeting, logistics, and organizing invitations, travel and hotel reservations.
  • Provide additional assistance to the OGP MDTF team as needed related to the reporting, management, and delivery of services.

Selection Criteria

Evaluation of the Expression of Interest will be based on the relevant experience and credibility of the Offeror, specifically:

  • Experience: Expertise in international public policy research – evidenced by previous research projects and consultancy carried out for public policy institutions or government establishments.
  • Credibility: A successful track record of publishing scholarly work in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Impact: Demonstrated impact of policy-relevant research and/or uptake of findings with government.

Duration and Amount

The period of performance for this requirement will be a maximum of 18 months beginning tentatively September 1, 2019. All tasks and deliverables are to be completed by March 1, 2021. Offerors shall provide proposal with an amount equal or lesser than USD 150,000 for the 18-month duration and shall not exceed this maximum value.

Selection Process

The selection process consists of two phases. First, Expressions of Interest submitted via the World Bank website will be evaluated by the World Bank based on objective selection criteria focusing on relevant technical background and experience in research and in the country or region. Second, firms that are shortlisted will receive a Request for Proposal, inviting them to submit a detailed technical and financial proposal that will be evaluated by the World Bank based on objective evaluation criteria focusing on the approach that suits the needs of the country or local, qualifications, and work plan. Winning proposals will receive an award upon completion with the World Bank Group.

Phase 1 – Request for Expression of Interest (REI)

Step 1: Register as firm access the selection on the World Bank Corporate Procurement website.

  • Go to Operational Consulting Opportunities.
  • Click on Register Firm and complete your information to give you access to econsultant2.
  • Click on Business Opportunities on the top right-hand corner and look for Selection Number 1262703.
  • For any technical or connectivity issues, please email wbgeconsultant@worldbank.org

Step 2: Complete the ‘Expression of Interest Form’ at the end of the TOR available on the World Bank’s Request for Expression of Interest.

Step 3: Submit the Expression of Interest with the completed EOI Form. The total size for all attachments should be less than 5 MB. Firms may also zip all these documents to be submitted and upload in the system as a single file in their response to this REOI.

Step 4: Firms which have been shortlisted will be invited to submit a proposal.

Phase 2 – Request for Proposal (RFP)

Step 5: Shortlisted applicants will receive a Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting them to submit detailed technical and financial proposals. The Technical Proposal should specify the organization’s proposed research methodology, qualifications, a work plan with activities, and timeline of deliverables. The Financial Proposal will outline all proposed costs of the research project.

Step 6: All proposals will be evaluated based on objective evaluation criteria. The Award will be made to the organizations with the highest evaluated proposals upon completion of contractual negotiations with the World Bank Group.

Additional Pertinent Information

  • To enhance the scope of the research, ensure robust methodology, and foster longer-term engagement with stakeholders, it is expected that the funds will be used in connection to other, similar research being conducted by the executing firm through a counterpart funding or cost sharing mechanism for enhanced economic efficiency and a longer-term engagement.
  • The firm must meet the vendor eligibility requirements of the World Bank Group in order to receive an award. For more information visit: http://www.worldbank.org/en/about/corporate-procurement/vendors.  It is advisable for firms to consider and propose the service fees associated with the scope and deliverables of the objectives of the programs. Investment fees such as those associated with the purchase equipment and software are discouraged.
  • The World Bank Group may procure the service of an external firm to assist the selection process. The evaluation will be conducted by an independent committee based on the objective evaluation criteria set up in the selections.

To Learn More

The following are examples of national level policy being implemented across geographic units (regions, provinces, counties, cities, etc.). Organizations may select one of these or other commitments in OGP only if they fit the criteria of being national level policies implemented across geographic/administrative units and are actively being implemented.