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Building Alliances for Open Contracting: Empowering Asia-Pacific Reformers

Kyende KinotiandNanda Sihombing|

In March 2023, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) together with program partner, Transformative Leadership for Excellence Institute (TLEX), launched the Asia-Pacific cohort of the Open Government Leadership Collaborative (OGLC) focusing on the thematic policy area of open contracting. This cohort brings together 20 reformers from government, civil society, private sector, and international partners from OGP member countries Indonesia, Mongolia, and Philippines, as well as instrumental stakeholders from Thailand.

Over the past few years, we have seen a remarkable rise of a community dedicated to open contracting across Asia. OGP member countries as part of this fellowship have defined ambitious commitments in the policy area of open contracting, for example, Indonesia’s success story on showcasing the power of collaborative efforts between civil society and government in combating corruption. 

PHOTO: OGLC reformers begin open contracting cohort with CEO Sanjay Pradhan.

We understand that pushing for procurement reform can at times be a lonely journey. While  open contracting is a popular reform in the region, technical and adaptive challenges continue to affect the sustainability of reforms, including high-level political buy-in. Participants highlighted the need to build alliances with five key coalitions: engaging political leadership, government and civil society collaboration, mobilizing and engaging citizens, mobilizing private sector support, and mobilizing donor and agency support. To address these challenges, the OGLC aims to build the reformers’ individual and collective leadership capacity to forge alliances, mobilize stakeholders, and persist to deliver results against formidable odds.

Throughout the program, fellows undertake a transformative individual project, as well as a collective project with their peers to apply the skills and knowledge that they will acquire during the fellowship on actionable projects. Some of the projects participants are working on include increasing private sector trust in government procurement, unblocking implementation challenges, publishing better data on procurement through the implementation of the Open Contracting Data Standard across government agencies, improving stakeholder engagement in procurement processes, and advocating for changes in procurement law. The unique approach of the program, allows OGP and OCP to invest in leadership development for reformers who can sustain open government reforms, even in difficult contexts, which is a vital part of the open government community.


“It is a very enlightening and enriching experience for all of us. I realized that we are not alone, we have allies who we can connect with and who can help us.”  — Carla Portugal, Officer-in-Charge for Performance Monitoring Division B, Government Procurement Policy Board

The OGLC is a pilot program that aims to advance OGP’s 2023-2028 Strategy, in particular, its goals around building a growing, committed, and interconnected community of open government reformers, activists, and champions. Likewise, OCP aims to build a strong community of open contracting champions to inspire more actors to get involved and adopt open contracting by supporting each other and strengthening what works.

By championing reciprocal and collaborative spaces like the OGLC, reformers are able to move open government reforms forward. This provides opportunities for them to channel innovation, apply their learning in practical ways, sustain open contracting initiatives, improve citizen participation, transparency, and accountability in public procurement, and ultimately enhance citizens’ quality of life.

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