Can public procurement be an instrument for policy learning in gender mainstreaming?

Ann-Charlott Callerstig

Abstract


Gender mainstreaming has the ambition to promote policy learning. The specific problem that is the focus of this article centres on the conditions for learning as part of gender mainstreaming in public procurement processes. The article is based on a case study of an occupational health project in a municipality in northern Sweden where gender mainstreaming was included in public procurement as part of the initiative. The main question asked is: can public procurement be an instrument for policy learning in gender mainstreaming? The results show that policy learning was part of the process for both the contractor and the suppliers. The municipality and the suppliers also to some extent engaged in co-learning and joint development work. The article discusses some limitations and problems that were encountered. The results showed that the relevant question was not only whether policy learning can occur but what kind of learning is possible and necessary for the envisioned policy outcomes in terms of gender mainstreaming. The study highlights the dilemmas encountered in public procurement processes and their consequences for policy learning. The study also contributes to an understanding of the application, and outcomes, of gender mainstreaming in different contexts.


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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413