Sustainable public procurement as a tool to foster sustainable development in Costa Rica: challenges and recommendations for policy implementation

Stamm, Andreas, Luise Dietrich, Heike Harling, Laura Häußler, Florian Münch, Jana Preiß, Jan Siebert
2020
#Agriculture and food
#Trade and FDI

In 2015, Costa Rica was the first country in Latin America to approve a National Policy for Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP). In 2018, a research team from DIE studied the efforts to make SPP a reality in Costa Rica and developed policy conclusions, partly drawing on international experience. The challenges to a swift implementation of SPP in Costa Rica are manifold: The fragmented governance in public administration impedes joint efforts and coordinated action among institutions of the central government, (semi-)autonomous institutions and municipalities. Many decision-makers do not feel sufficiently qualified or trained to take decisions which guarantee a good “sustainability for cost”-ratio and at the same time correspond to the legal requirements for public procurement. Dialogue structures between public procurers and the private sector are not well developed and this is a barrier to the effective framing of SPP processes. Several actions are considered both feasible and necessary to accelerate SPP implementation in this Central American country. They reach from reforming the modes of public procurement, improving public-private dialogues and strengthening support institutions to making stronger efforts to ensure that SPP contributes to mitigating social challenges in Costa Rica.

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