For the third year in a row, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), in collaboration with the Service Agency Municipalities in one World (SKEW), hosts the international Dialogue Forum on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) from 26 to 28 October 2020. Corona related the meeting will take place virtually this year. It will, however, provide a platform for interesting insights and lively debates for decision-makers, procurement practitioners, researchers and members of the civil society from Europe, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Corona pandemic impressively illustrates the importance of a quick and well-functioning public procurement organisation to handle sudden crises. Since early 2020, procurement practitioners in public administration show extraordinary efforts to meet often essential needs of the citizens such as medical products. At the same time, in many cases the crisis has unveiled procedural and technical limitations of current public procurement systems such as limited capacities for market exploration or joint purchasing. Thus, the situation has brought the issue of professionalising public procurement back on the agendas of decision-makers. This window of opportunity should be used to make clear that public procurement is not only an instrument to handle sudden crises but also to tackle more long-term challenges, such as climate change or poor working conditions in national and international value chains.
This year’s Dialogue Forum on SPP will focus on three components of professional procurement organisations that can make them more effective to tackle both sudden and more long-term strategic challenges:
- e-catalogues of goods and services public entities may use to satisfy their needs
- different forms of interaction between public entities and the market
- purchasing groups between two or more public entities.
Focus on: social responsible procurement in municipalities
Through their purchasing activities, municipalities have a powerful lever at their disposal for promoting fair working and living conditions. Applied consistently, socially responsible procurement by municipalities can contribute significantly to implementing the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In a multimedia report, Maximilian Müngersdorff and Tim Stoffel show:
- challenges of social responsible public procurement in German and European municipalities;
- opportunities to learn from each other; and
- success factors of implementing social responsible procurement.