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Enhancing the effectiveness of government procurement programs in achieving women’s economic empowerment

Public procurement is one of the most strategic mechanisms for socio-economic empowerment and it is at the front line of the wider governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It presents a clear opportunity to advance women’s economic empowerment and when used strategically, it can significantly contribute to building a more resilient and sustainable economy and society.

The Kenyan government introduced the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) program, mandating that 30% of government procurement come from women, youth, and persons with disabilities. Despite this initiative, uptake by these groups is very low at 7%. This project seeks to uncover barriers and determine how AGPO can be mobilized as an instrument for boosting women’s economic empowerment, particularly in the COVID-19 recovery.

Using a mixed-methods approach, this project will evaluate AGPO and other relevant public procurement programs in Kenya in five key areas: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and impact. It will also identify scalable solutions and the public and private sector actions required to make these programs more effective. The goal is to enhance Kenyan women’s access to and participation in public procurement opportunities to boost their economic outcomes and address the gender equality gap. As public procurement will play a key role in governmental responses for the post-crisis recovery, this project will make an important contribution to building back better and more gender inclusive.

This project is supported by 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
24 months
IDRC Officer
Annet Abenakyo Mulema
Total Funding
CA$ 487,200.00
Institution Country
Project Leader
Ruth Kiraka
Strathmore University

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