Buying Well to Deliver Better Results


An international donor prepared to launch a new strategy to combat malaria and, recognizing the vital role of effective procurement practices, needed a thorough review of past practices to inform the development of more efficient, transparent, and client-responsive procedures and tools.


Knowing all too well the common bottlenecks in donor-funded procurement in emerging markets, DFI® reviewed and analyzed the Donor’s procurement experience over five years for malaria-related commodities, including bed nets, ITNs, LLINs, insecticides for bed net re-treatment, vector control through IRS, and anti-malarial drugs. DFI worked with the Client to establish assessment criteria for the evaluation before obtaining sample tenders from eight countries in which the Client had funded malaria-related projects. DFI’s procurement specialists then catalogued and reviewed all documents, assessing tenders against the agreed-upon criteria and filling in gaps using interviews with key donor agency staff. Specialists also identified common problems in the Client’s procurement processes and presented a commodity-specific analysis to highlight the unique challenges of procuring certain commodities in the malaria sub-sector.

Final criteria assessed adherence to the Client’s procurement rules, timeliness of purchases, degree of competition among bidders, and quality of purchases

Detailed review conducted of archived tender documents, including bids, contracts, and records of communications among the donor, the recipient countries, and prospective bidders

At the headquarters level, DFI acted as an impartial reviewer, ensuring a fair assessment of the Client’s role in the selected procurements


International Donor Agency headquarters (Central Procurement Office)

International Donor Agency Country Representative Offices

In-country project units within involved Borrower Ministries in Burundi, Cambodia, Laos, Madagascar, Mozambique, Senegal, Vietnam, and India


DFI provided recommendations ranging from policy-level changes to practical tips for in-country project procurement units and Client project officers; five of seven recommendations were included in Client’s new malaria strategy

Established an evidence base and benchmark for continued improvements to Client’s procurement practices

Increased efficiency and transparency in Client-funded procurement

Created a practical handbook to guide project staff and stakeholders step-by-step through procurement procedures for malaria-specific commodities