COLOMBO/KABUL – The On-Farm Water Management Project (OFWMP) is the first winner in its country category of the South Asia Innovation Procurement Award for 2016-2017. The project won best innovative procurement system, amongst 13 Afghanistan entries. A Government of Afghanistan delegation is currently in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to receive the prestigious award and attend the Fourth South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference from February 20-23, 2017.
A week earlier, a stream of bright-eyed men and women crowded together in their office in Kabul. Their team leader, Mohammad Homayun Sulaimankhil, had called them in to share the news of their project’s big success. The team works in the procurement department of OFWMP, a Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) project that aims to improve agricultural productivity in project areas by enhancing the efficient use of water.
The winning initiative achieves time-cost efficiency by using innovative IT-enabled procurement and contract management solutions. “In a challenging and difficult environment like Afghanistan, such solutions are a boon to any organization trying to make a difference,” says Assadullah Zamir, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock. “Recognition of our continuous efforts to improve our governance system through mechanisms such as the South Asia Innovation Procurement Award is not only an honor for us, but, equally important, it highlights that reforms can be implemented even in challenging environments.”
The South Asia Innovation Procurement Award was launched in 2016 by the World Bank in partnership with the South Asia Regional Public Procurement Network (SAPPN), the Asian Development Bank and Procurement iNET. “The key objective of the award is to enhance learning and knowledge sharing from innovative approaches adapted by procurement entities and systems across the region,” says Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan.
Each entry competes on a country basis and is subject to a competitive selection process based on three criteria—level of innovations; replicability of the solution; scalability and sustainability.