As we enter the final decade to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is with an increasing sense of urgency that we review strategic actions available for achieving environmental sustainability and address deepening global social inequalities. The SDG 2030 Agenda, and Goal 12 specifically, provides a wide platform for linking public procurement practices with sustainable development outcomes, aligning public spend with national development objectives of governments and the wider international community. This paper contributes to the SDG target 12.7 by identifying barriers and enabling conditions for sustainable public procurement (SPP), based on a systematic literature review, incorporating emerging literature on SPP experiences from low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). A conceptual framework is developed, building a typology of barriers and conditionalities across four dimensions, including the legal framework, the implementing public organization, the practitioner level, and the readiness of the national supply market. The model develops an understanding of conditionalities for effective SPP implementation and identifies associated stakeholders. The findings contribute to strengthening existing SPP implementation strategies by further highlighting the importance of organizational cultural change and buy-in, identifying specific practitioner level capacity and resource barriers, and acknowledges the impact of the SPP cost factor on public procurement decision-making processes. The findings further contribute to more effectively measuring SDG Indicator 12.7.1, by providing a better understanding, and measure, of the completeness of country action plans towards SPP implementation.
Taking Stock of SPP Implementation Challenges and Opportunities