El Salvador and Costa Rica, with Spain’s support, benefit from Dominican Republic’s experience in innovative management of public procurement, which includes support to MSMEs and the gender approach.
One of the most important activities within government administration is public procurement. This is defined as “the process of acquiring goods, services and infrastructure for public purposes” (IISD, 2015). Part of the efficiency and transparency in the use of public resources depends on its good management. Additionally, it is a key instrument for the implementation of public policies. For example, according to the definition of sustainable public procurement “governments attempt to procure on the best possible social, economic and environmental terms, and in support of national development strategies” (IISD, 2015).
In this regard, the triangular project Support for the implementation of a triangular cooperation pilot initiative of the Dominican Republic as provider to support the national public procurement systems of El Salvador and Costa Rica, began its execution in 2019, with Spain as second provider. This project has great potential for innovative public procurement management and for other public policies by incorporating two important elements: the support to MSMEs and the gender approach.
In fact, this initiative originates in the framework of the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement between the Dominican Republic and Spain and is part of the process to strengthen the Vice-Ministry for International Cooperation, and of Spanish cooperation’s support to the implementation of the International Cooperation for Development Policy of the Dominican Republic (MEPYD, 2020). Indeed, in 2018 and in this framework, Spain and the Dominican Republic promoted activities to identify the potential of the Caribbean country’s cooperation and to contribute to systematize its capacities as cooperation provider (DGCPRD, 2019).
One of the identified strengths refers to the way in which the Dominican Republic includes the gender perspective in its public procurement policy. Thus, for example, at the institutional level, the Directorate-General for Public Procurement has generated an updated information catalog of 11,235 women and companies led by these, registered in the State’s Suppliers’ Registry. This catalog provides information that facilitates progress towards the effective compliance of gender quotas mandated by Law No. 488-08, which states that 15% of purchasing budgets must be allocated to MSMEs, percentage that increases to 20% when these are presided or led by women (DGCPRD, 2019).
Indeed, the project is inspired on a previous experience executed during 2017, in which the Dominican Republic itself, also with Spain’s support, shared its experience with El Salvador, for the promotion of public procurement policies with a gender perspective in micro and small enterprises. The final project broadens the scope of this action and adds Costa Rica as recipient.
Based on this formula, capacity strengthening through this project will deliver important results: on the one hand, as it will enable the Dominican Republic’s projection as TC provider, diversifying its profile within Ibero-American cooperation and, on the other hand, since it will contribute to the social and economic inclusion of women in state processes and to their greater incidence in the public sphere.
Source: SEGIB based on IISD (2015), Directorate-General for Public Procurement of the Dominican Republic (DGCPRD by its Spanish acronym, 2019) and Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development of the Dominican Republic (MEPYD by its Spanish acronym, 2020) websites.