Gender-responsive Public Procurement
Capacity-building programmes, support structures and guidelines promote GRPP
Legislation and strategies on GRPP are important tools to promote such public procurement and thus help to advance gender equality, but GRPP without adequate support structures remains a largely theoretical undertaking. Relevant support structures include capacity building, training and information materials that explain GRPP, its uses and its impact on gender equality, as well as mentoring/cooperation between public and third sector bodies (e.g. institutes, universities and NGOs/charities with expertise on gender issues).
Capacity building, most often in the form of training, is best directed at people and institutions directly involved in public procurement procedures, as well as national gender equality bodies, to support their efforts in advancing gender equality. Manuals, toolkits and other guidance documents serve as helpful reference material. Structures such as ‘interservice’ groups composed of representatives of public procurement bodies and gender equality bodies are key in terms of creating the necessary interinstitutional exchange of information and capacity-building programmes regarding GRPP and its use in successfully addressing gender inequalities.
Example of guidelines: Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions
In Sweden, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) produced supporting materials for use in regional and local public procurement. These materials specifically mention gender equality as a ‘quality factor’ that provides added value to the tender. The section of the supporting materials entitled ‘Procurement for gender equality’ contains examples of gender equality in procurement and a concrete checklist. Moreover, SALAR and the Swedish Procurement Agency have recently started to work together on GRPP.
How to act
Organise training seminars, develop guidelines, disseminate good practice, set up help desks and support structures and launch capacity-building projects to provide advice and information, including with EU funding support.
Create national networks of experts and practitioners in GRPP, encourage interdepartmental cooperation between public procurement and gender equality experts, and set up pilot working groups to develop capacity-building measures.
Facilitate the dissemination of good practice at local, national and international levels.