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Around the world, procurement processes—which are vital to ensuring an affordable, reliable, and high-quality supply of health products—remain fraught with obstacles. Further, the ongoing pandemic is magnifying challenges, for both COVID-19-related supplies and other essential health products. This paper summarizes current challenges in health product markets in low- and middle-income countries; presents estimates for the range of potential savings that could be realized from improved procurement; and highlights possible policy options for the way forward. From simulations of three procurement reform approaches, we find that 50 of the poorest low- and middle-income countries could achieve savings between $10 to $26 billion per year, equivalent to 16 to 41 percent of the estimated $63 billion in annual spending on health products. Precise estimates of the potential savings from improved procurement of health products are difficult to compute due to scarce data. We also recognize that procurementrelated reforms are contingent on overcoming complex political-economy dynamics in the real world. Nevertheless, our findings provide an illustrative range for the magnitude of possible savings and highlight the value proposition of addressing the inefficiencies that characterize procurement systems in low- and middle-income countries. In a post-pandemic world, improving procurement of health products must remain central to countries’ efforts to maximize health outcomes—it will also ensure health systems are more resilient when the next outbreak hits.
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Reports presented by members of the Lawyers Council from 14 countries who have surveyed the landscape in each of their own countries and provided summaries of exceptional legal measures for crisis response, the conduct of procurement processes under such exceptions, and resultant corruption risks and actions to minimize such risks, including in respect of transparency obligations. This section also includes information as to initiatives developed by civil society organizations and other sectors to monitor government actions related to the pandemic, as well as public information about investigations of corruption into governmental actions related to the pandemic. Finally, the Lawyers Council presents a set of recommendations calling on the legal community to support anti-corruption efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and recommendations for a critical policy focus on transparency and access to information, integrity and transparency in procurement practices, and citizen watchdogs and whistleblowers.
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Blog by HIVOS outlining the importance of transparent procurement in Indonesia’s COVID-19 response.
South Africans have witnessed in recent months of the Covid-19 pandemic how our procurement policies and laws can create opportunity for corrupt people, including government officials, to steal from the state’s purse.
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