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 worked 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 worked with countries and other development partners to establish appropriate organizational and institutional structures, such as procurement committees. SIAPS provided training and built the capacity of procurement staff in conjunction with the establishment of procurement audit and monitoring systems.
SIAPS also supported the streamlining of procurement processes by 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 supported countries in the evaluation, selection, and application of appropriate solutions, such as e-procurement systems, framework contracts, and pooled procurement mechanisms. In addition, countries were supported to develop and implement 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- and in-service) in Vietnam, Namibia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and other countries.