Building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions is a central theme of the World Bank’s Governance program in Europe and Central Asia. Public procurement accounts for a significant level of public expenditures, therefore strengthening public procurement systems is critical to achieving concrete and sustainable results, building effective institutions, and gaining substantial savings in the use of scarce public resources – which is all the more crucial during the current global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Bank and the UK government through its Good Governance and Investment Climate Reform (GGICR) Trust Fund supported public procurement reforms in Serbia and Georgia. The support included strengthening the countries’ regulatory bodies, e-procurement systems and capacity building for both public and private sector. The UK also supported public procurement reforms in Ukraine though it’s Good Governance Fund (GGF). When the projects closed, the World Bank and the UK evaluated them to assess their impact, take stock of the key issues encountered during implementation and glean lessons learned that could be helpful for future projects.
During this interactive session, the speakers provided an overview of the public procurement reforms in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine, with a focus on:
• How change was achieved/ not achieved
• What the key barriers and enablers were, and how the project dealt with these
• Lessons learned that can be useful for future projects in the region and beyond