Dialogue Forum on Sustainable Public Procurement 2020 – E-Procurement, Market Dialogue and Joint Procurement as Drivers for SPP

Event Type
Digital Dialogue Forum

Online, 26.10.2020 until 28.10.2020


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Service Agency Municipalities in one World (SKEW)

For the third successive year, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) in collaboration with the Service Agency Communities in one World (SKEW) hosts the international Dialogue Forum on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) from 26 to 28 October 2020. Though Coronavirus forces us to meet up virtually this year, we are still able to provide a great platform for interesting insights and lively debates between decision-makers, procurement practitioners, researchers and members of civil society from Europe, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. To get an impression of the forum’s dynamics and content, please visit the online summary of last year’s event.

The Coronavirus pandemic impressively illustrates the importance of quick and well-functioning public procurement organisations in handling sudden crises. Since early 2020, procurement practitioners in public administration have shown extraordinary efforts to meet the often life-saving needs of citizens. 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 onto 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. When reorganising procurement systems, it is also crucial to consider these challenges.

In this year’s Dialogue Forum on SPP, we focus on three components of a professional procurement organisation that make systems more effective to tackle both sudden and more long-term strategic challenges.


  • On 26 October, we will look at e-catalogues of goods and services that public entities may use to satisfy their needs. Depending on the country context, such catalogues exist on different levels, from the municipal up to the national level, and include goods and services from framework agreements. First, we will discuss questions on how to integrate sustainability criteria into these agreements. Secondly, we will discuss how the procurer who orders goods from such catalogues can choose sustainable product alternatives.  
  • On 27 October, we will discuss different forms of interaction between public entities and the market such as market exploration or bidder dialogues. What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of such exchanges? How can public actors use different types of interaction with the market to strengthen the sustainability aspects within tenders? We will look at different instruments of public-market interaction in the different phases of the tendering process, i.e. from market exploration to contract management.
  • On 28 October, we will focus on the effects that procuring in purchasing groups and via joint procurement platforms has on SPP. In some countries, purchasing groups comprise a number of municipalities, universities or other public sector bodies that procure either infrequently or regularly together. Other countries have procurement platforms on a national level from which all public entities may order goods and services. We present those different options as well as public and private consulting institutions that advise on joint procurement initiatives.


This event is part of the project “Impulses for Socially Responsible Public Procurement of Municipalities in Global Value Chains (ISOPP)” in close collaboration with Engagement Global and its Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) programme, with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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