Ideas Competitions

Improving the diversity of design teams through alternative models of procurement

The diversity of design teams procured by Authorities often fail to represent the communities they serve – in turn leading to schemes which do not fully address the challenges faced by local people and diverse groups. A key part of the problem is attracting and enabling local practices and businesses led by members of the community to bid for council projects.

This case study, written by Zahra Haider during a year-long placement at London Borough of Enfield, explores how an ideas competition can be a tool to allow Authorities to respond to borough and industry-wide challenges proactively and dynamically, without the constraints of Public Contracts Regulations (2015). It reflects on how Authorities can promote innovative thinking around housing provision and improve the diversity of teams through alternative models of procurement, which are tailored to encourage small, local and diverse businesses to participate.

In order to ensure the competition was genuinely open to small, emerging and diverse organisations, it was essential that the whole process, including the judging and the brief, was fair and transparent. Below are the key recommendations for designing a fair ideas competition:

  • Recompense all participants fairly and equally
  • Reach out to grassroots networks and diverse & emerging organisations
  • Propose a quality and research-driven brief
  • Champion diversity and social value

To find out more about the evidence behind these recommendations and how to action them, download the case study below.

Tags: #Procurement, #diversity