UNDP Uganda trains women entrepreneurs on its procurement procedures

Apr 20, 2017

Mr. Thomas Ole-Kuyan, UNDP’s Deputy Country Director for Operations talks to Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) about UNDP procurement process during a recent training for them. The training is part of UNDP Uganda’s efforts to advance gender equality and women empowerment through partnerships with the private sector. (Photo credit: UNDP Uganda 2017)

Kampala - The United Nations Development Programme today held a training to educate women entrepreneurs on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s procurement procedures.

The training which was attended by members of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) was intended to enable them understand the key UNDP guidelines for vendors and also to encourage more women to apply and respond to the organisation’s procurement requests.

 “At UNDP Uganda, we believe that gender-responsive procurement provisions, which guide the solicitation of procurement proposals and submissions can drive positive gender equality,” Mr. Thomas Ole-Kuyan, the Deputy Country Director for Operations said while opening the training.

He added that the training was part of the Country Office’s effort to advance gender equality and women empowerment through public procurement and working with the private sector.

It is also in line with both the UNDP global and national gender strategies which call for gender responsive management systems and enhancing partnerships with women’s groups as well as private sector.

Dr. Gudula Naiga Basaza, UWEAL’s Chairperson welcomed the training saying that it builds on their theme for last year which aimed at getting more women taking part in public procurement.

“It is learning opportunities such as these that enable us at UWEAL expand women’s opportunities to participate in public procurement and supply to organisations such as UNDP,” Dr. Basaza said.

The training took members through the principles of UNDP procurement including what major goods and services are procured, how we procure them. How vendors can market their goods and services with UNDP as well as how they can register to take part in the UN Global Marketplace.

Ms. Alexandra Byaruhanga, the UNDP operations manager, while making a presentation on how to do business with UNDP, explained that women entrepreneurs who wanted to understand the processes could first try out micro purchasing. UNDP’s micro purchasing involves procurements below USD 5,000.

UWEAL members were pleased to know that micro purchasing offered them a window to try out for UNDP procurements and requested the organisation to consider affirmative action for them in this.  

UNDP Uganda hosted this training after a study it commissioned in 2016 on the gender gaps and dimensions of its procurement processes revealed that between 2010 and 2015, 78.4 percent of the UNDP procurement budget (USD 23,370,569) was inadvertently awarded to male-owned businesses and individual consultants, compared to 20.3 percent for the females.

It is hoped that through engagements with women business groups, UNDP will not only be able to educate them about their procurement guidelines but also encourage them to participate so that they are able to benefit from them.

“This training has been a learning opportunity for us too and many of your submissions we’ll be considered as we send out requests for suppliers of goods and services,” Mr. Ole-Kuyan said.

We hope that by the end of 2017, we shall be able to have an increased number of women responding to our calls for supply of goods and services.