Robert Hunja

Director, Solutions & Innovations in Procurement Group, Governance Global Practice at The World Bank


As part of the Bank’s ongoing effort to adapt to the changing needs of client countries, the Bank is modernizing its procurement framework. This will help us deliver stronger project results while maintaining the integrity and high standards of our procurement framework.

The two key elements of this transformation in Bank procurement involve the Procurement Policy Reform, to take effect in 2016, and STEP, the Bank’s new electronic procurement planning and tracking platform.

On July 21, 2015, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved the new Procurement Framework, which will go into full implementation during 2016. This new framework allows the Bank to better and more effectively meet the varying needs of clients by ensuring greater flexibility and choice of methods. Alongside the new framework, an electronic platform, Systematic Tracking of Exchanges in Procurement, branded as STEP, is being rolled out and will be implemented worldwide in the coming months.

This system jointly developed by Operations Risk Management (OPSOR) within Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS), the Global Governance Practice (GGP), and Information Technology Services (ITS) departments, is a cornerstone of the World Bank Group’s procurement reform efforts and goes hand-in-hand with policy and procedural changes.

STEP is an electronic end-to-end procurement processing and tracking platform that includes planning; implementation; activity tracking; contract management; reporting and analysis modules.

Watch the video to learn more about STEP.

STEP is designed with distinct and different dashboards for clients and World Bank Staff that facilitates data analytics that allows for more informed procurement decisions and also enables the Bank to be more open with its procurement data.

Open reporting on procurement spending and contracting between borrowers and the Bank will allow for greater transparency and accountability. Clients will benefit from project life cycle tracking and information that enables data-based decision-making and efficiency in procurement and project activities.

Throughout the summer and autumn, STEP is being introduced in phases, beginning with launches in Vietnam and Pakistan in July and broadening across the regions through the end of 2015. Projects in all regions will be integrated into the system using a phased approach. In addition, projects using legacy systems (SEPA and PROCYS) will be migrated and start using the STEP system.

To assist with the system rollout this June, the World Bank hosted over 80 World Bank staff selected as members of the global implementation team in Washington, DC. Nominated by the Public Integrity and Openness (PIO) unit in the GGP, members of the global implementation team lead the rollout of STEP, including the design and delivery of regional training programs on the system for World Bank staff and clients.

As the full launch of STEP approaches and the new World Bank Procurement Framework becomes finalized, regional teams are working to create specific support structures that will enable staff and clients to use new procurement methods and implement the STEP system, which will also encompass all Bank projects effective in FY13 onwards.

The STEP SPARK page serves as the ideal resource for news on the rollout of the system, gateway to E-learning, and repository of learning aids for the new procurement methods.