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Impulses For Socially Responsible Public Procurement Of Municipalities In Global Value Chains (ISOPP)

  • Published on February 15, 2022

Municipalities can demand compliance with social criteria when tendering goods, services or works. They thus have a powerful lever to promote fair working and living conditions both nationally and internationally. The aim of the project was to generate knowledge for a broader and more effective use of this lever.


In many countries, municipalities account for a large share of total public procurement expenditure. In Germany, this share is over 50%, with local authorities spending around EUR 250 billion annually on goods, services and works. In other European countries, local authorities play a key role in public procurement as well; in many countries of the Global South, their importance is steadily increasing. Municipalities in Europe and usually also in the Global South have the opportunity to request sustainability criteria in their tenders, including criteria for compliance with social requirements. They thus have a powerful lever to promote fair working and living conditions both nationally and internationally.

However, most local authorities have so far been reluctant to use this lever, partly because of existing knowledge gaps of how to implement it in practice. The aim of this project was to fill these gaps with practical knowledge. ISOPP was run by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) in close cooperation with the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) and financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Four topics were identified that play a central role in the successful and effective implementation of Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP): communication with the market, purchasing groups, digitisation and verifying compliance with social standards. Besides those content topics, facilitating international exchange between practitioners and experts was a further key component of ISOPP and crucial to inform our research as well as to circulate its results.

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