CSOs’ procurement review suggestions for the World Bank

The World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Photo by: Elvert Barnes / CC BY-SA

How can the World Bank improve guidelines so that procurement can be an economic tool that can boost the effectiveness and developmental impact of aid? A group of civil society organizations has a few recommendations.

In a review submitted to the bank, 19 organizations called on the international financial institution to evaluate its procurement guidelines to protect and advance local industries in developing countries, incorporate social and environmental criteria, and boost accountability and transparency.

The group outlined a plan of action in the review, which includes the following:

  • Study and try to emulate sustainable public procurement strategies of organizations and countries such as the World Food Program and Brazil.

  • Devise and carry out a policy “that best reflects [the World Bank’s] development mandate and enhance development effectiveness.”

  • Include provisions that will help advance and develop micro, small and midsize enterprises in developing countries, allowing them to compete fairly against international businesses.

In March, the World Bank announced a two-year review process of its operational procurement policy and procedures to ensure its relevance to changing development conditions.

The report forms part of the first phase of the process, which is consulting with stakeholders worldwide for a framework of proposed guiding principles for the necessary revision. The consultation ends Oct. 12, while the board discussion is set to start early next year, the review plan states.

The following civil society and nongovernmental organizations contributed to the procurement policy review: African Forum and Network on Debt and Development, Alliance Sud, Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad, Both ENDS, CAFODChristian AidCentre national de coopération au développementDebt and Development Coalition IrelandEuropean Network on Debt and Development, Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Fundar, Ibis, Instituto Latinoamericano para una Sociedad y un Derecho Alternativos, Latin American Network on Debt, Development and Rights, ONE InternationalOxfam International, Reality of Aid, Save the Children and Uganda National NGO Forum.

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About the author

  • Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a former staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.

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