The World Bank Institute hosted a Book Sprint that brought together 17 experts from around the world to co-create an open contracting guide for practitioners by practitioners. The process allowed experts and practitioners from countries ranging from Brazil to Afghanistan to come together and produce a guide for all of those seeking to advance open contracting.


The book, which features the collective inputs from a diverse set of experts, highlights the benefits of enhanced disclosure and participation around contracting processes. It also aims to guide and inspire others in their own open contracting activities, and to support the emerging global community of practitioners around open contracting.

The book contains four sections: “Introduction and Framing”, “How to Do It”, “Reflections, Risks, Sustainability and Lessons” and a conclusion that includes a glossary of terms and a list of resources.

The guide will remain a living document, and will be developed over time with the objective of supporting as many practitioners as possible.

Producing a Book in 5 Days

all.pngWhat was the process to produce a book in 5 days?Imagine days of intensive group discussions, writing, re-writing,  writing, negotiating with others on concepts, re-writing once more and editing.  

For a Book Sprint to be successful it requires strong facilitation skills and creativity to manage interpersonal dynamics, keeping a diverse group of participants on task supporting them in the challenging task of writing an entire book in five days.  The facilitator guided participants from zero to published book, using the content and structure as decided by the participants. Full development of the content occurred over the five days of the Sprint.

The richness of this process was not limited to the product in itself, but the actual conversations that took place around the production of the book. Real value came from the sharing and capturing of knowledge that many times remains tacit and hardly gets codified, as well as the community building component that created a sense of ownership and belonging.

 Part of the process involved developing complex concepts and simplifying them.  Throughout the Book Sprint, a graphic designer worked with the different participants on visualizing their concepts. The Book Sprint was also an interesting process that challenged our traditional conceptions about “authoring”, “peer-review” “a voice of the book” and “publishing” with a big splash of collaboration.