The Local Procurement Learning Partnership (LPLP) is a new multi-stakeholder partnership initiative, seeking to improve the timely, relevant and efficient use of local procurement in humanitarian response and resiliency building activities. 

The Local Procurement Learning Partnership seeks to do this through: capacity building, technical assistance, information sharing, and policy advice

Much like the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP), the Local Procurement Learning Partnership (LPLP) will support organisations and practitioners in enhancing local procurement potential in humanitarian and development contexts around the world; through capacity building, technology enhancers, innovative policy advice and knowledge management. This initiative represents a practical step in the localisation agenda – reinvesting capital from the aid industrial complex into local markets and local economies.

 

Why is Local Procurement important?

    • At present, potentially 60-80% of emergency aid budgets are spent on logistics, including the procurement, transportation, warehousing and distribution of aid items. While efficient handling and improved standards may help to reduce costs, so to can local procurement where and when suitable alternatives in local markets. 
    • In the last five-ten years, the technology to manufacture, move and store goods has come a long way. It is now possible to find local vendors and manufacturers for some standard humanitarian goods, for example – soap, buckets, measuring boards, and medical PPE. The future of humanitarian logistics must be inclusive of these local vendors, suppliers and manufacturers. 
    • As per the resiliency nexus, an improved use of local procurement offers the potential for quicker recovery time for markets and their economy as well as enhanced stability and resiliency of the communities that rely on them. 
    • The future of local supply chains for humanitarian and development actors holds untapped potential for private sector engagement and partnership
    • Levelling the playing field: there is a common misconception that the current procurement system is accessible to local vendors/suppliers/manufacturers who need only apply in order to bid alongside everyone else. This  misconception obstructs the real-life access issues that many local actors face: such as cash flow issues, process and compliance loopholes, etc. In order to have a truly level playing field UN and INGO buyers need support and capacity building to improve their interface with local procurement

for procurement officer, 

for beneficiary,

for suppliers,

for donors

Currently there is a good incentive for the PO to issue collective larger tenders for more standard items.  Currently even the best prepositioned supplies and most efficient logistics may result in lag time for the goods to get to the beneficiary  Currently local suppliers cannot access the aid sector procurement standards – either due to bureaucratic ‘blue tape’, or logistical shortfalls Currently a potentially huge percentage of aid budgets are spent on the upkeep of global supply chains, representing a missed opportunity to invest in local resilient suppliers
Through engaging with the LPLP, the PO will be able to issue smaller batches of more specific, fit-for-purpose items to local marketplace Through engaging with LPLP, it is possible that local items equivalents will be more rapidly identified, procured, and distributed to beneficiaries without compromising on quality of goods. Cash programming for NFI can also be supported through best practice and policy advice   Through engaging with LPLP, local suppliers will be empowered to access the procurement channels through capacity building on compliance issues; and aid sector stakeholders will be supported to engage with local actors through innovative policy advice Through engaging with the LPLP, the donor will be better able to disaggregate their logistics spending through technological enablers and policy advice
Long-term the PO will be able to work with Programming to incorporate livelihood development indicators of local procurement in to the project logic and reporting  In the long-term, the beneficiary can enjoy a decreased lag-time from crisis to distribution, may be able to use cash or voucher assistance for NFI provision, and will have the ability to tailor the item specifications for their own context Long term the local suppliers will be better represented in procurement channels, and aid capital can, through their engagement, be reinvested into local market economies for more rapid recovery In the long term, donors will be able to report against and programme for local procurement, along with common indicators and standards for local suppliers. 

 

Origins: The Local Procurement Learning Partnership (LPLP) was conceived of during an Innovation Bootcamp run by WFP, by members of a working group of UNHRD officers and Field Ready senior management. Following the boot camp, it became clear that the LPLP would be best suited to be housed within a non-competitive actor within the sector. In Dec 2020, the  Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA) Advisory Group approved the initiative, and agreed to house the The Local Procurement Learning Partnership (LPLP) within the Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA), as a pre-competitive, neutral stakeholder in the international aid sector.

What’s Next: The Local Procurement Learning Partnership (LPLP) is in the process of convening a preliminary steering group to finalise a framework for activities for the first phase of the LPLP’s work. If you are interested in learning more about the Local Procurement Learning Partnership, please contact claire.travers@humanitarianlogistics.org,