Seminar challenges international financial institutions to overhaul procurement guidelines

The ‘Advancing Good Governance’ seminar at Rhodes House in Oxford focuses on how good governance can significantly aid international development.  This year’s seminar featured a paper by Jeffrey Gutman of the Brookings Institution entitled Is There Room for Discretion? Reforming Public Procurement in a Compliance-Oriented World. The paper argues that the box-ticking approach to procurement currently employed by international financial institutions is insufficient. Instead it calls for an enhanced transparency and the active engagement of development stakeholders throughout the procurement process. 

Whether the message, aimed at institutions including the World Bank and the African Development Bank, will be heeded during the review and overhaul of these institutions’ procurement policies and guidelines remains to be seen.

The Outcome Statement from the seminar advocates the inclusion of governance in the post-2015 development agenda and is another call for stakeholder engagement. The statement, which will be delivered  to the UN General Assembly ahead of its September annual meeting, emphasises the seminar delegates’ conviction that, only with good governance, will development be more just, accountable and effective for the people it exists to serve.

The event was the third annual seminar run by a consortium comprised of Linklaters, Camfed International, the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development, and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

The seminar is unique in bringing together a diverse mix of practitioners, academics, donors, foundations, private sector, government and international development organisations to promote better governance, and to share knowledge, experience and best practice.

For further information contact Katie Taylor on 020 8456 2287