Practical considerations for establishing an M&E framework

Monitoring & evaluation of sustainable public procurement

  • Siddharth Prakash
    Senior Researcher / Gruppenleiter Zirkuläres Wirtschaften & Globale Wertschöpfungsketten Produkte & Stoffströme

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) is an important process which can help track the implementation and impact of sustainable public procurement (SPP). The existence of M&E frameworks for SPP, however, remains rare in practice, and where they do exist, they are often focussed on process rather than impact, which can hamper innovation and can lead to risks of greenwashing and perverse incentives.

Existing guidance on developing M&E frameworks for SPP is based on top-down approaches which recommend embedding M&E in policy and enabling it with centralised digital infrastructure (in particular, national e-procurement systems). However, one main lesson learned from past implementation of SPP is the importance of inter-ministerial cooperation, for example, between the Ministry of Finance or Central Procurement Agency, which are responsible for public procurement policy and its associated infrastructure (including e-procurement systems), and the Ministry of Environment, which has the knowledge needed to define sustainability, provide SPP criteria and guidance, and calculate the environmental outcomes of SPP. As such this pre-study aims to outline important factors which should be considered when establishing or enhancing an M&E framework in a multi-actor context. It does not provide definitive instructions for M&E of SPP: instead, it seeks to collect and contextualise existing guidance and research, as a starting point for more targeted research into national needs, opportunities and barriers to SPP M&E. In addition, short case studies on M&E in eight countries from Asia, Europe and North America are provided. These focus on the data collection methods used by these countries, and provide examples of integrated e-procurement approaches, standardised questionnaires or tender evaluation methods.