Pharmaceutical procurement in low- and middle-income countries is often challenged by limited funding; complex and often conflicting regulations, policies, and procedures; a lack of skilled personnel; and difficulty in ensuring fair, competitive, and transparent tendering processes. These issues may foster mistrust of procurement systems, delays in procurement, compromised product quality, and higher costs.

SIAPS works with stakeholders including government ministries, donors, and supply chain partners like the Global Drug Facility, to evaluate existing practices and implement solutions that improve procurement methods and procedures while emphasizing transparency, integrity, and competition. SIAPS works with countries and other development partners to establish appropriate organizational and institutional structures such as procurement committees. SIAPS works to provide training and build capacity of procurement staff in conjunction with the establishment of procurement audit and monitoring systems.

We also support the streamlining of procurement processes by appropriately selecting pharmaceuticals to be procured, building capacity to allow for improved adherence to rules and regulations, and identifying the most qualified suppliers. Where applicable, SIAPS supports countries in the evaluation, selection, and application of appropriate solutions, such as e-procurement systems, framework contracts, and pooled procurement mechanisms. Additionally, countries are aided in developing and implementing web-based procurement tracking to promote transparency and improve monitoring.

Examples of SIAPS-supported procurement activities include:

  • Revisions to the procurement process in Bangladesh, including the introduction of a transparent online procurement tracking system.
  • Strengthening procurement management in Swaziland through the development of guidelines, standard operating procedures, and performance evaluation tools.
  • The development of procurement training materials (pre-service and in service) in Vietnam, Namibia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, among other countries.