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Empowering women-owned businesses through public procurement in Tanzania

Gender-responsive government procurement has been recognized as a powerful tool to improve women’s economic empowerment and promote gender equality. Tanzania has established public procurement systems and regulations that contain provisions for equality of opportunities and fair treatment and require allocating 30% of government procurement to women, youth and people with disabilities. Despite these policy provisions, barriers to women's participation in procurement processes persist, largely due to scattered national policies on women's economic empowerment and women’s limited access to information, skills, financial markets and asset ownership. Women constitute 43% of the registered groups but available data is not disaggregated and does not provide the proportion of women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises that constitute public procurement.

The project aims to promote the participation of women-led businesses in public procurement by developing policy guidelines that governments can adopt and by identifying innovative and inclusive policy interventions which can be scaled in Tanzania. The project will work closely with selected government actors, the private sector and civil society organizations to develop and scale innovative policies and interventions that facilitate the implementation of gender-responsive public procurement to address gender segregation in the world of work and foster women’s economic empowerment. It will employ mixed methods for data collection. A randomized control trial evaluation framework will be used to evaluate and scale effective interventions.

This project is supported under the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) East Africa initiative, jointly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and IDRC. GrOW East Africa seeks to spur transformative change to advance gender equality in the world of work.

Project ID
Project Status
30 months
IDRC Officer
Annet Abenakyo Mulema
Total Funding
CA$ 647,000.00
GrOW—East Africa
Institution Country
The Registered Trustees of Economic and Social Research Foundation