World Bank set out to reform its procurement process. What's changed?

By Sophie Edwards 14 November 2016

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim talks to a patient at a hospital Fujian, China during a visit to the country in July 2016. Photo by: Wu Zhiyi / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

The World Bank’s ambitious new procurement framework, the product of three years of work and extensive consultation, officially went live in July. Now all new projects use the new system.

The procurement reform process, which officially started in 2012, was designed to address concerns raised by businesses, staff and borrower countries about the policies for buying goods, works and services with bank-financed loans.

Approximately 5,000 stakeholders were consulted as part of the process and 13 issue areas were identified as needing to be addressed.

These included the bank’s tendency to award contracts on the basis of lowest price as opposed to best value — meaning quality, warrantee, design aspects, service and other factors were potentially not being taken into account. Another issue was a call for the bank to move toward a more country-specific model which relies more on national procurement systems. Businesses had also complained about the complaints process, and staff had complained the procurement process took too long.

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About the author

Edwards sopie
Sophie Edwards

Sophie Edwards is a reporter for Devex based out of Washington D.C. and London where she covers global development news, careers and lifestyle issues. She has previously worked for NGOs, the World Bank and spent a number of years as a journalist for a regional newspaper in the U.K. She has an MA from the Institute of Development Studies and a BA from Cambridge University.


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