The UK’s Government Digital Service, as part of its Global Digital Marketplace programme, was looking to understand how gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) in information, communication, and technology public procurement can be integrated into GDMP delivery. This project examines the existing procurement global best practice. It then offers recommendations for incorporating and mainstreaming GESI into ICT procurement practices.
GESI principles are important to ICT procurement because they open up opportunities to more SMEs including those run by women, ethnic minorities and other marginalised groups. Inclusive procurement also brings concrete economic and social benefits for the government, supporting jobs and giving the government access to a wider choice of goods and services, generating increased competition and economic growth.
This report makes several global recommendations to improve GESI practices:
1. The terms ‘gender equality and social inclusion’ should be clearly defined in conversations with government stakeholders about ICT procurement so that all parties are clear about what these terms mean and to which people they refer.
2. GDS should advocate the Sustainable Development Goals to promote gender equality and social inclusion in ICT Procurement.
3. Procurement entities must engage with women-owned and minority-owned businesses. Governments should reach out to these enterprises throughout the procurement lifecycle to maximise inclusion of marginalised groups.