August 19, 2022 - Kick-off Meeting

Summary Note

Summary Note

Date: August 19th, 2022

PPT Deck


DIAL’s Marketplace Reference Group kick-off meeting took place on Friday August 19th, 2022. During this meeting, the research team presented an overview of the Marketplace research and the key objectives of the reference group (see PPT deck). It was reiterated that the expected outcome of the reference group is to work with DIAL’s core research team to develop and outline a solid roadmap for the Marketplace by the end of the year – which will be updated regularly and publicly available on DIAL’s Catalog confluence homepage.

The objective of this kick-off meeting was to hear from the reference group members representing the supply and demand side actors of digital solutions – on whether the Marketplace design thinking to-date and planned features (RFP Radar, Vendor Storefront, and Comparison Tool) addresses general pain-points in the digital ecosystem. A request was made to all members to validate and/or challenge the research findings presented.

General Feedback on the Marketplace Research

Below is the summary of the discussion points raised by the reference group members regarding the Marketplace, its value proposition and how it can be useful to demand and supply-side actors.

Discussion points:

  • To address procurement challenges, it is important to consult governments in developing countries that are still in the nascent stage of incorporating and navigating e-procurement processes and reforms.

    • The Marketplace platform could provide data/guidelines that government officials can access to help them ask and answer regulatory questions.

  • It is important to keep in mind, the "common app" problem: why should a DPG go "update their profile" in 6 different places. Thus, it is crucial that the Marketplace platform has a strong value preposition and hook to keep these actors engaged i.e., connect DPGs to donors and/or funding opportunities.

    • Priority should be placed on having at least ONE donor committed to sourcing only products / solutions from the Marketplace (and proven in GovStack's reference implementation(s)). This will incentivize other suppliers to prioritize the Marketplace and conform to the multiple definitional lens on Building Blocks / DPGs.

  • The Marketplace should prioritize a “reuse first” (i.e., DPGs) approach, with clear principles / criteria / practical guidance combined with incentives to move away from traditional approaches.

    • There needs to be a lot of advocacy work done alongside promoting the business opportunity the Marketplace has to offer supply side actors.

  • As the Marketplace platform plans to also showcase COTS (“commercial-off-the-shelf/ proprietary solutions), then to address vendor lock-in, it is important to understand that people buy proprietary software not because it is proprietary, but because for $X/month they do not have to hire and train a whole DevOps team.

    • The Marketplace could showcase hosting/SaaS offerings for fully open-source DPGs alongside the "system integrator" portal. Thus, system integrators will still be needed, but they could be requested to implement using hosted solutions being used in the country/open-source tools, to avoid vendor-lock in.

  • Asking vendors and DPGs to submit case studies could be a way to “boost" their profile on the Marketplace. Case studies as "stories of change” can demonstrate what is being done, where, and by whom – this will promote a community engagement element.

  • Cybersecurity should be prioritized – specifically how the Marketplace will ensure data protection and protect demand side actors from cyberattacks.

  • A strategy for long-term engagement of both demand and supply side actors in crucial.

Session on the Marketplace Features and Wireframes

A session during the kick-off meeting was dedicated to presenting the draft wireframes of the three Marketplace features being prioritized (1. RFP Radar, 2. Vendor Storefront, and 3. Comparison Tool). The link to the wireframes was shared with all participants as well as the link to the Miro board where the reference group members can input their feedback on the Marketplace features wireframes.

Below is a summary of the feedback received on the Marketplace features and wireframes:

Vendor Storefront:

  • Prioritize and differentiate storefront profile information required between DPGs and SIs – their scope of work is generally different, so it is important to keep this in mind.

  • The architecture of the Marketplace should prioritize sharing information and collaborating with global marketplaces.

    • DIAL should look into the mapping/listing of digital service providers already cataloged by major international organizations i.e., the UN Global Marketplace, World, Intra-American Development Bank. DIAL’s Marketplace could then use an API that can source and automate data population of the ‘Storefront’ profiles.

    • This will save vendors time from having to complete another marketplace profile that requires them to input similar information.

  • Consider undertaking a benchmarking of what are the most repetitive fields required in a company profile on global marketplace platforms.

RFP Radar:

  • From a procurement point of view, it would be time consuming for demand side actors to create and manage an RFP tender on multiple platforms, as well as on one’s own platform. Thus, it would be easier and save demand side actors time by having a standard data interoperability format that ensures a seamless, automated, and integrated flow of procurement processes between multiple platforms.

    • There might be a standard procurement API standard that links to *some* procurement platforms and shows linked highlights of RFPs on DIAL’s Marketplace platform, even if they are hosted elsewhere:

  • Organize a session with procurement leads across global marketplaces to discuss how to collaborate, democratize access to RFP opportunities and promote transparency in the procurement process.

Comparison Tool:

Unfortunately, we ran out of time to receive feedback on the Comparison tool, thus we would highly appreciate it if you can share any feedback or thoughts on this feature.

Next Steps

We welcome all reference group members to share any and all feedback on the proposed Marketplace features - wireframes, directly in this Miro board.

Moreover, this report provides an overview of the survey that was disseminated this year to gain additional information on procurement pain-points and the types of features and functionality users would like to see in a Marketplace platform for digital solutions.

Below are the tentative upcoming dates for the two remaining Reference Group meetings this year:

  • 2nd Reference Group Meeting: last week of October 2022

  • 3rd Reference Group Meeting: first week of December 2022 

Please feel free to email the Marketplace research team with any questions or feedback you may have: and