blue paint splurge


  • Call for tenders by the Open Data Institute (ODI)
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Reference: RDPM-046 –please use this tender reference in your response and all communications

The objective of this work is to assess the economic impact of trust in the flows of data: in a given data ecosystem, how much does a lack of trust between actors create a barrier to data collection, sharing and use? Conversely, what positive economic effects can increased trust in the ecosystem create – for example in terms of increased innovation, better decision making, and ultimately societal impact. And can we quantify the scale of those effects?

We intend to explore these questions by engaging a delivery partner(s) to collate literature on the subject, explore potential economic models for the impact of trust and lack of trust on data ecosystems, and propose extrapolations of those models to illustrate the importance of building trust and making data stewards more trustworthy.

The successful company will work in collaboration with the ODI, who will provide guidance, review and assistance throughout.

Summary and timeline

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Terms of payment

An initial payment of 50% of the total amount will be invoiced on completion and acceptance of the research plan. The remaining 50% will be invoiced on satisfactory completion of the work, including responses to all feedback from the ODI, and paid within 30 days.


At the ODI, we work with companies and governments to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem.

We are working to build an open future with the aim to create maximum benefit for everyone. It is part of our strategy to work with companies and governments to identify challenges and develop prototypes and tools to address them.

We are delivering a four-year research and development (R&D) programme to help develop the next generation of public and private services. The work aims to support innovation, improve data infrastructure and encourage ethical data sharing.

The programme is funded by Innovate UK and running to March 2021. We want to enable the UK to build on its strengths in data and analytics, break new ground in creating value from data across industries, and ensure it remains at the forefront of data innovation around the world.

As part of this programme, the ODI team is currently engaged in research on 'Building trust through audit and certification': we are exploring what types of mechanisms are likely to have the most impact in improving trust between organisations around data, with the aim of helping the ecosystem operate more effectively while reducing the risk of causing harm. This research notably draws on previous work on how to design trustworthy data institutions.

Research questions

The main focus of the ODI research is on the mechanisms to increase trust in data ecosystems, especially new data ecosystems where links of trusts are yet to be built. However, it is built on an assumption that the lack of trust between parties – for example, data holders and potential data users, or between the public and organisations seeking to collect and share data about people – is a barrier to the effective and trustworthy collection, sharing and use of this data.

This project will aim to challenge and validate that hypothesis.

The main research question for this project is: 'Can we quantify the economic impact of increased trust in a data ecosystem?' A related addition to this question, which this project should aim to at least partially tackle, is 'what is the global impact created by the lack of trust between data subjects, data stewards and data users?'

A likely prerequisite to answering these questions is an understanding of the impact of collecting, sharing and using data in a trustworthy and effective way. Answering this is deemed out of scope for this project – instead, the project team will be expected to build on existing work in this field, collated in the first phase of the project.

Research methods

We welcome a variety of proposals on which methods may be best suited to answering the research question given scope, budget and proposed timescales. As a baseline, we would expect a typical project proposal to include three phases:

  1. Desk research / literature review
  2. Models exploration
  3. Synthesis


Research plan: A broad research plan should be agreed with the ODI detailing the overarching research questions to be analysed, research methods to be used, information for the selection of project outputs, or if relevant the selection of stakeholders within projects and schedule.

Model source code: If your proposal includes the creation of new models, you will be expected to share / open resources needed to reproduce it, including data and source code.

Research findings report: We expect that the project will conclude with the production of a short report, which the ODI is likely to make available under an open licence, and a presentation to the ODI team.


Short coordination/progress update meetings will take place on a bi-weekly basis with the ODI during period of activity.

Work will be carried out remotely and all interactions conducted via videoconferencing.

No travel is expected as part of this project.

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 10 pages) explanation of your proposed approach (eg methodology, scope), including why you are well-placed to do the work
  • a description of the team who will do the work, including bios
  • the costing should be at activity level, but feel free to provide more detail
  • a writing sample of a similar research report or modelling study

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 experience in developing similar social and economic models which enable the scaling of project level economic and social benefits to the economy as a whole.