Step Up Wins HIVOS Contract to Study Open Contracting in 4 Countries

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Open Contracting and OCDS (Image taken from https://openprocurement.io/en/ocds

Step Up Consulting was awarded a research contract by HIVOS, a development organization headquartered in the Netherlands, to undertake a research project to understand how open contracting reforms and increased availability of contract data can be used to realize results and benefits for specific, historically marginalized groups external to government.

Step Up Consulting is one of the several firms considered to undertake the research but got the final nod of the HIVOS review panel based on the strength of its proposal and the quality of the composition of its research team. The research will be conducted in Kenya and Nigeria in Africa, and Indonesia and the Philippines in Asia.

For this research, Step Up’s team is composed of Michael Canares, strategy advisor, as research lead and Francois Van Schalkwyk, a long-time collaborator of Mr. Canares, along with Fiona Smith and Ana Brandusescu as review panel.  The research will run from July 2019 to January 2020.

The research, using a case study approach, aims to identify and assess ways in which key aspects of open contracting reforms did or did not lead to circumstances where open contracting resulted in increased equality and inclusion in public contracting processes. More particularly, the research would like to answer the following questions:

  1. How can open contracting reforms and increased availability of contract data be used to realise results and benefits for specific, historically marginalised groups external to government? 
  2. What contextual and programmatic aspects in open contracting contribute to achieving meaningful results and benefits for these marginalised groups? 
  3. What do specific, historically marginalised stakeholders experience as significant barriers/impediments to achieving the desired results and benefits?

Step Up Managing Consultant Lectures in UKZN-Durban

UKZNMichael Canares, Managing Consultant of Step Up Consulting Services, speaks as guest lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-NatalGraduate School of Business and Leadership in Durban, South Africa last 11 December 2013. Mr. Canares was invited by Dr. Jennifer Houghton, academic leader of the Regional and Local Economic Development Initiative of the school. Mr. Canares and Dr. Houghton spent a fellowship together at Brown University in the US in June 2010.

Mr. Canares’ talk, attended by academics and graduate students of the school, was entitled “When Investing in the Local Does or Does Not Work:  Case Studies from Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines”.  The presentation focused on four case studies and argues that there are defining patterns where investments in local development work and contexts where the power of the local can be harnessed to achieve desirable social ends.

In his introduction to Mr. Canares, Professor Stephen Migiro, Dean and Head of School expressed optimism that future partnerships can be explored by the school and Mr. Canares, as well as with Holy Name University, where Mr. Canares serves as managing editor of an academic journal.