Invitation to tender: An organisation to design a decision-making process for one data trust

Mon Dec 3, 2018
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The ODI is looking for an organisation to design a decision-making process for one data trust

The ODI is looking for an organisation to design a decision-making process for one data trust

30 November 2018

Tender reference: RDPM-012

Call for tenders by the Open Data Institute
Contact: [email protected]

The objective of this work is to design a decision-making process for a data trust.

The successful organisation will work in collaboration with the Open Data Institute (ODI) who will provide guidance, review and assistance throughout.

Summary and timeline


To design a decision-making process for a data trust.


The primary audience will be people and organisations with an interest in the data held by the data trust.

The secondary audience will be people, policy makers and organisations with an interest in the concept of data trusts.


Work to be delivered between 3 January 2018 and 31 March 2018.

Value of award (excl. VAT)

Up to £20,000

Questions to ODI by

5pm on 4 December 2018

ODI responses by

5pm on 5 December 2018

Costed proposals due by

5pm on 12 December 2018

Tender decision by

5pm on 17 December 2018

Contract awarded

12pm on 21 December 2018

ODI brief successful applicant(s)

3 January 2018

ODI progress reviews


Final work delivered by

27 March 2018.

Tender reference:



[email protected]

Terms of payment

50% of the agreed value of the award will be paid at the beginning of the project i.e. 3rd January, subject to a valid invoice being provided, and the remaining 50% will be paid upon completion of the work, 29th March 2019, including satisfactory responses to all feedback from the ODI.


The Open Data Institute (ODI) is undertaking research into ways to increase access to data for new technologies while retaining trust. As part of this work, the ODI is exploring the concept of ‘data trusts’, including whether they can increase access to data, build trust in the ways that data is used, and be made more repeatable and scalable.

After completing a discovery phase, the ODI has recommended a definition of a data trust for use in further work. Under this definition, a data trust is ‘a legal structure that provides independent third party stewardship of data’. Historically, trusts have been used to hold and make decisions about assets such as property or investments – a data trust takes this concept and applies it to data.

The ODI, UK Government and other stakeholders will now be working together to undertake three data trust pilots.  This tender is for support on a decision making process for two of those data trust pilots.

As it is funded from a different source at the same time, we are tendering separately for support on another data trust pilot. You will be able to bid on both tenders.

Each data trust pilot will consist of the following activities:


  1. Engagement with data stewards
  2. User research and engagement
  3. Running briefing workshop


  1. Exploring legal incorporation of a data trust
  2. Designing a decision-making process
  3. Designing a data access process
  4. Designing a technical architecture
  5. Exploring how the benefits of data access should be distributed


  1. Assessment of data trust viability
  2. Project management
  3. Communications and dissemination

The ODI will engage and convene third party expertise from organisations specialising in topics related to these activities.

This Invitation to Tender (ITT) is designed to engage an organisation to work in collaboration with the ODI on Activity B.5. ‘Designing a decision-making process’ on one of these data trust pilots.

At the same time we are tendering separately for this advice into the second and third data trust pilots as they are funded from a different source. You will be able to bid on both tenders.


The data trust pilots will not necessarily create a data trust. Instead they each will explore a series of research questions, produce a design for a data trust, and make recommendations for next steps to the particular data holders. Together this will generate significant learnings on the concept of data trusts and a framework for building them.

One motivation behind data trusts is their potential to increase trust in the way that data is shared and used. In some cases this will involve the trust of individuals whom the data might be about or otherwise have an interest in; in others it will involve the trust of organisations that hold data. Central to building this trust is ensuring that a data trust engages and makes decisions with different stakeholders so that the decisions it makes – such as who has access to the data, under what conditions and how the benefits of that use are distributed equitably – are made openly and deliberatively.

We recognise that the type and volume of stakeholders will affect your effort. We are currently finalising the scope of the pilots but expect each to include a number of organisations from the public sector, private sector, and third sector as well as some individuals. The ODI team supporting the rest of the pilot includes people who will help manage stakeholder relationships and coordination.

The winning organisation will:

Design a decision-making process for one of the data trust pilots. This process will cover topics including but not limited to:

  1. an assessment of the different deliberative techniques and processes that could be adopted (for example in the case of data about/generated by individuals, communities or businesses, how their expectations on data usage will be built into the data trust’s decision-making);
  2. the openness and transparency of the data trust’s decision-making and its publication of information;
  3. a recommended process;
  4. estimates of staffing and effort required to sustain the designed process.

We anticipate that each of the data trust pilots will require a different process, as there will be different organisations, relationships and outcomes required across them. We understand that some of the findings from this work will be applicable to the concept of data trusts in general, such as where a particular method might be more appropriate than another based on the types of stakeholders or types of data involved.

We expect the successful organisation to use different methods to derive the information required to deliver this, such as meetings with the ODI and data holders and/or workshops or design sprints to convene different stakeholders, develop and test ideas. We also expect the design to be developed iteratively based on developments and findings from other activities undertaken as part of the pilots.

The successful organisation will produce:

  • a draft and final written report describing the process for one data trust pilot, which will be used to inform the recommendations made to the data holders.
  • a draft and final written report covering findings that are applicable to the general concept of data trusts.

These reports will be combined with the outputs of the other activities being undertaken by the ODI and published under an open licence for anyone to access, use and share.

Other deliverables, if deemed useful to meet the objectives of the project, may be included in your proposal.


In addition to the deliverables (and means of producing them) described above, the successful organisation will also be expected to attend project meetings and other events as appropriate.

The successful organisation will work in close collaboration with the ODI team to ensure the deliverables meet the needs of the project.

The ODI will, where possible, provide space to work in our offices in London, when members of the successful organisation wish to work onsite. There is an expectation that the successful organisation will work closely with the ODI team, which includes regular face-to-face meetings and being available remotely (e.g. using skype, email and/or slack).

Form of tender response

Interested parties should submit a costed proposal (in English) to [email protected] which includes:

  • the tender reference in the email subject line;
  • a short (no more than 5 pages) explanation of your proposed approach (e.g. methodology and scope);
  • a description of why you are well-placed to complete the work;
  • a description of the team who will do the work (including biographies and previous related work);
  • a costing at an activity level

If you have any questions about the tender, please contact [email protected] quoting the tender reference. The ODI reserves the right to make both anonymised questions and answers public or shared with other organisations having stated their interest.

Decision criteria

All proposals will be assessed as described in our public procurement policy. In addition, for this procurement we will be looking for:

  • evidence of experience and expertise in this area;
  • evidence of convening and working with multiple stakeholders;
  • ability to communicate well in written form.


Q: Are the findings of the ODI’s discovery phase (which lead to the definition of a data trust) available?

A: Unfortunately, we can’t share anything in addition to what is already publicly available. However, you can find our exploratory research here.

Q: Will development and learning between tender projects be shared during the time period of work plans (January to March 2019) if different organisations are awarded bids?

A: Yes, learnings will be shared across projects.

Q: When will the scope of the data trusts be finalised and if this changes significantly would the funding be increased?

A: We are hoping to have the use cases for each data trust confirmed by the end of December 2018. We will manage scope to fit within the funding and timescales.

Q: Do you need two separate proposals for each tender, or can we submit one proposal for both?

A: We do require separate proposals for each tender due to funding restrictions.

Q: If separate proposals are required, could we have up to an extra page to describe how we would work with the other contractor if we won one, but not the other tender?

A: Yes, you can add an extra page for this.

Q: Are you also looking for an exploration of different forms of governance and how stakeholder and wider engagement would fit in?

A: The ODI will be recommending the governance structure for each data trust, based on the work of its own team and successful bidders for the tenders.

Q: Is 31 March a fixed deadline?

A: Yes, 31 March is a fixed deadline.

Q: Can the ODI give us an understanding of the different stakeholder groups across the different data trusts and what they anticipate to be the motivations of those stakeholders?

A: We expect those stakeholder groups and others, for example regulators and people who hold rights over the data. Our team are exploring their motivations and this will be openly published during the project.

Q: Who would be responsible for the recruitment and engagement of the key stakeholders?

A: The broader ODI team would be responsible for the recruitment and engagement with the stakeholders involved in the data trust and as such would enable access to the successful bidding organisation to those organisations to help design the decision making process.

Q: How do the ODI see the interaction with the legal guidance and the decision making working?

A: We are expecting to form a multi disciplinary team.

Q: Can the ODI provide us with further information in relation to any ‘deliberative techniques and processes’ that could be adopted. Have the ODI already developed any of these?

A: We are expecting the bidders to recommend appropriate techniques for the context and the stakeholders.

Q: What technology related constraints or preferences do you envisage?

A: None at this point.

Q: Would it be possible to involve more than one institution?

A: If you want to bid together that’s fine. However, we are expecting to contract a single organisation for each tender.

Q: Are academics invited to apply?

A: Yes, academics can certainly apply.

If we haven’t answered your question here, please email [email protected]