The Learning Lab is a network of central and local government procurement agencies and purchasing officers; representatives of other relevant government bodies, such as ministries; procurement professional associations; regional and international organizations; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); national human rights institutions (NHRIs); and relevant academics.

Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • North America

Sector of activity
Public Procurement

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising, Policy Frameworks & Tools

Type of lead actor
Civil society

Start date

End date

Shared by

Claire Methven O'Brien

Strategic Adviser Human Rights and Development

Danish Institute for Human Rights

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The Learning Lab’s global network is a platform and mechanism for:
1. experience-sharing among procurement actors on approaches to integrating respect for human rights;
2. generating knowledge about public procurement law and policy and human rights;
3. producing and disseminating tools and guidance to build capacity to integrate human rights issues among procurement professionals; and
4. promoting coherence between procurement and human rights in international and regional frameworks and initiatives.


As collected through the One Planet Reporting

Output level

Knowledge resource and technical tool

  • Public Procurement Learning Lab Website

Outcome level

SCP Commitments

  • European NHRIs adopt a Common Position on the human rights implications of privatising or contracting out public services

Impact and Results

Amongst achievements of the Learning Lab since its formation in 2015 are the following:
• Hosting of 2 international Learning Lab conferences on public procurement and human rights in 2015 and 2016, including participation by national public procurement agencies, UN special mandate holders, representatives of international organisations, practitioners, national human rights institutions and civil society stakeholders
• The publication of the first major survey of legal and policy frameworks on public procurement and human rights, Public Procurement and Human Rights: A Survey of Twenty Jurisdictions in July 2016, based on research undertaken in collaboration with local Learning Lab partners in 20 countries
• Establishment of the Learning Lab website ( which gathers resources such as reports and e-learnings, a regular Learning Lab blog to which practitioners and stakeholders contribute
• Collaborating with UNEP to host a 10YFP SPP e-learning on public procurement and human rights for more than 70 participants
• Facilitating human rights inputs to the development of ISO’s new 20400 Sustainable Procurement Guidance
• Providing expert input and capacity development support for practitioners on procurement and human rights at international conferences and workshops (OSCE, World Bank, Sustainable Leadership Purchasing Consortium, International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management, International Purchasing and Supply Research and Education Association)
• Hosting panel discussions on public procurement and human rights at the UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva in 2015 and 2016, highlighting the role of public procurement under the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (12.7) and emerging good practices of integrating human rights into public procurement
Providing expert input on public procurement and human rights to the development of National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights (including in USA, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Scotland, UK)

Next steps and how to get involved

During the process, a Practitioner Review Group will be established to review drafts of the Toolkit to ensure it is relevant, practical and accessible, and responsive to implementation challenges such as supplier capacity and internal resource constraints.