Open data & measuring progress
Open data & measuring progress

Open data & measuring progress

Throughout the toolkit, we have explained the importance of high quality and open data to drive SPP implementation and measure sustainability outcomes. We first introduce this idea at the start of the toolkit, and develop it further in the following sections, particularly when introducing a sample Measuring and evaluation (M&E) framework in section one. This proposed M&E framework is structured around five goals, and provides sample tracking indicators to facilitate reporting and measuring progress against sustainability goals.

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In this section, we provide a deeper dive into the options available to collect the data you need to measure progress against your goals. As you can see on the diagram below, first, we introduce a set of general data collection considerations and options on how to use data to measure progress across different goals. Then, we turn the five goals from the M&E framework into five worked examples of how to use open data to measure progress in: (1) SPP uptake, (2) carbon reduction, (3) gender inclusion, (4) economic development, and (5) promoting life cycle costing.

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Steps towards collecting and publishing data

Before introducing the different options for data use, we want to draw your attention to the different factors that will impact and shape the approach you can take to data collection. Assessing these is the first step towards designing a clear process for procurement practitioners to share the required data. Below we include some key factors you should consider as part of this assessment:

Step 1: Understand your organizational procurement set-up and governance structure

The organizational set-up of procurement - whether it is centralized, decentralized, or follows a category-managed approach - will inform decisions regarding the responsibilities of different stakeholders involved in the process of collecting and reporting relevant data. For example, when procurement structures are very decentralized, it might be necessary to appoint dedicated umbrella authorities responsible for monitoring the collection of data in specific regions or localities.

Agreeing how the many different stakeholders involved in public procurement will work together is vital as is appointing a clear leadership structure for coordinating and reporting. Many countries assign this responsibility to the Ministry of the Environment, or to a national public procurement authority. At the organizational level, it is important to align individual job responsibilities with SPP monitoring and reporting activities.

Step 2: Assess your procurement platforms

In many countries, different platforms are used to carry out public procurement activities. To ensure that all relevant data is collected, a system should be established to gather data from the different platforms and channels. For example, Korea gathers data from three different platforms: the centralized e-procurement platform KONEPS; the de-centralised online purchase platform Green Market; and the e-monitoring platform “Green Products Information Platform” (GPIP), created for procurement authorities to upload required data from de-centralized procurement processes (for more information on this see pages 60 to 63 of this UNEP report). Understanding where your data is collected is critical to developing a system to publish information publicly.

Step 3: Establish a baseline year and public reporting frequency

The baseline year is the moment when the data will begin to be collected and key indicators reported publicly. This normally coincides with the publication of the Action Plan, which should determine when data will start to be collected. From an operational level, it is also important to establish with public authorities the frequency for collecting and reporting data relating to their contracts, for example, whether this will be monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Step 4: Consider your capacity

There are different methods to collecting and analyzing data and these will vary depending on the sustainability goals you are trying to measure progress against. It will also depend on accessible technical resources and capabilities. We have identified three different types of environments: no code, low code, and code. Click through to learn more:

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Click through to learn more about these three environments:

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As we explain in the introduction to this toolkit, high-quality open data is crucial for driving and measuring progress when implementing SPP. To tackle key data foundations, we recommend consulting our Green Flags guidance, and the Open Contracting Playbook.

Click through to learn more