Open Contracting / Procurement

The work of OD Asia partners in opening legislative data and budgets, making data available on shared data platform of Open Development Mekong.
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End Date

The work of OD Asia partners in opening legislative data and budgets, making data available on shared data platform of Open Development Mekong, also provided secondary outcomes by making available open contracting, procurement and expenditure data, and identifying gaps in the availability of the data. Sinar Project through it’s anti-corruption and transparency programme has worked on leveraging open data and open government initiatives for investigating and uncovering anti-corruption in infrastructure procurement. 

The active research work looks into:

  • Leveraging international open data standards for sourcing and investigating infrastructure projects in constrained environments with lack of transparency or data
  • Using international open data standards for joined up data for anti-corruption investigations for infrastructure projects


Building upon Sinar’s previous work of using legislative open data standards in constrained environments and joined up data of open contracting, PEPs and beneficial ownership, the project aims to use these standards as a tool for investigative journalists and transparency advocates leveraging open government initiatives in opening government information and data across different sectors.

This work looks into using CoST Infrastructure Data Standard (CoST IDS) and Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) as a starting point to investigate stories. CoST IDS in identifying key data and documents availability as red flags, and OCDS to harmonize problems against procurement stages and available data.

Mapping out similar initiatives and sources of data in Southeast Asia and East Africa.

Project Outcomes

Key findings so far in preliminary research for presentations and talks in Southeast Asia and Kenya:

  • Mega infrastructure has large impact and risks, in terms of government expenditure, social and environmental impact.  Due to the nature and complexity of these projects and the lack of transparency,  there is a need to leverage local, regional and international open data and transparency initiatives for sources of information and expertise, especially in simplifying access for oversight. Open data standards can play a part.
    • One planned initiative by CoST, UNDP with input from ODAsia partners is for an international index for infrastructure data transparency.
  • Increasing adoption of OCDS by Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam by national and sub-national governments. Open data is not always available but there is now a common standard and framework for collaboration and reuse of techniques. There are existing nascent  innovations in anti-corruption and transparency at the Philippines Center for Independent Journalism, (Indonesia), Thailand procurement portal and application of open data standards for investigations at Sinar Project (Malaysia).
  • Potential for greater impact in the use of cross-sector and international data use through development of procurement investigation tipsheets using open data standards and open data sources made available through OD Asia open data projects (open budget and legislative data)  and platforms (ODM)
  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (EIA) is sometimes the only source of data and information on infrastructure projects. There is a need to build capacity for analysis of EIAs, including applying lessons learned from other open data to extract data on communities, land, environment and infrastructure projects.

These preliminary findings will be tested through implementation of a cross-regional project in development of a Procurement Stories Portal with Nation Media Group Kenya and Sinar Project (Malaysia) supported by Hivos East Africa in first half of 2020.