Publication of data

The process on publication of data is focussed on ensuring that information such as the purpose, scope, costs and implementation of infrastructure projects is open and accessible to the public, and that it is shared in a timely manner. This means that key stakeholders such as civil society, media and citizens can monitor this information and ultimately increase levels of accountability around decision making. Projects with information published includes healthcare, housing, education, climate resilience, water and sanitation and more. 

The data should be published in accordance with data standards, such as the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard (CoST IDS) or the Open Contracting for Infrastructure Data Standard (OC4IDS).

The CoST Infrastructure Data Standard

CoST IDSThe CoST IDS requires 40 data points or ‘items’ to be disclosed across the infrastructure project cycle including key stages: identification, preparation, completion, procurement and implementation.

CoST IDS categories: Project data and contract data

The standard list of data points to be published is formatted to make items concise, consistent and amenable to electronic data processing. This facilitates access to the data, especially with more members supporting the creation of data portals. With data published in a machine-ready format, it can be easily read by a computer and be more easily subsumed into existing online systems.

Our approach is adaptable to country and sub-national contexts – we provide guidance on but encourage our tools and standards to be adapted to suit local conditions whilst still achieving a credible and substantial level of compliance. 

The standard list of items outlined in the CoST IDS can be amended to align with country contexts. This may be especially pertinent for small projects or for situations where there is low capacity, such as in fragile and conflict affected states. 

OC4IDSOC4IDS postcard

In partnership with Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) and Open Data Services, we developed the Open Contracting for Infrastructure Data Standard (OC4IDS), which encourages the publication of infrastructure project data based on both the CoST IDS and the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS).

The OC4IDS integrates our specific knowledge of what to publish during the project cycle with OCP’s guiding principles of open contracting and open data. It does this by combining contract level disclosure using the OCDS with project-level disclosure based on the CoST IDS.

Alongside OCP, we support CoST members to integrate the OC4IDS into their systems, as well as any other entity with an interest or need to use it. 

The OC4IDS promotes the use of online platforms to make data available in real time, giving residents far better access to information and helps to facilitate more meaningful engagement. Throughout the last few years, there have been innovative data portals developed by our members. 

Our members have also worked to achieve legal mandates on the publication of data.

In 2023, we expanded the OC4IDS data points, with an additional 78 data points, to include more focus on sustainability and climate finance. This includes looking at aspects such as indigenous land, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon footprint. Like the CoST IDS, the points can be adapted to that location’s contexts. 

Useful links

Learn more about the CoST IDS, OC4IDS, online platforms and legal mandates on our tools and standards page.

Read more about the benefits of the OC4IDS and our open data journey.

Take a look at our Disclosure Manual and Disclosure Guidance Note. Also in Spanish available as Manual De Divulgación and Nota de Orientación: Divulgación.