Designing and Implementing Social Procurement Policy: Preliminary Insights from a Comparative Study (Video Available)

Online via Zoom

More Information

This research is currently ongoing. In early 2023, the research team will invite people interested and involved in the research to join us to further make sense of findings and their practical implications. A full report on the project design and findings will be shared in late 2023.

To register your interest in future project activities and to receive updates about the project’s findings, visit


Seminar Description

Social or inclusive procurement seeks to use the power of purchasing to create more diverse and inclusive economies. Victoria and Scotland are two jurisdictions with ambitious social procurement policies. Like other contemporary reforms, the design and implementation of social procurement policies requires new ways of working by governments, with active involvement from a variety of people and organisations across sectors.

This webinar will offer some early findings from a three-year comparative study of the implementation of social procurement policies in Scotland and Victoria. Presenters will share comparative insights about the underlying drivers of the policies, and the key challenges and unanticipated outcomes of their implementation. You’ll hear from three members of the project team: Prof Jo Barraket, Associate Prof Emma Lee, and Prof Michael Roy.

The webinar will run from 4pm-5.30pm AEST, Wednesday 24 August 2022 (7am-8.30am for those in Scotland). See other time zones.

The project is funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant program (DP200101394), enabled by those who have shared their knowledge, and jointly delivered by researchers at University of Melbourne, Swinburne University of Technology, University of Technology Sydney, Glasgow Caledonian University and University of New South Wales. As an international collective, we give our respects to Indigenous Peoples and their lands and waters we reside upon. We recognise that we are engaged in Western forms of research and data collection and understand that these methodologies have caused harms to Indigenous Peoples through time.

The Speakers

Professor Jo Barraket – University of Melbourne

Prof Jo Barraket is Director of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute. A political sociologist, Jo is Australia’s premier researcher of social enterprise and a leading researcher of social innovation. Her work focuses on how social equity is improved through new ways of organising, resourcing and scaling social change, and the relationships between state and civil society organisations in policy processes.  She has previously led national and state-based mapping of social enterprise, action research on the impacts of social enterprise through the Social Enterprise Impact Lab, and was a founding researcher of the Australian Digital Inclusion Index. Jo conducts research that generates high quality research publications, as well as outputs – such as interactive online tools, policy and practice guides – which support the uptake and use of research knowledge. Prior to her current role at the University of Melbourne, she was the founding director of the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne, which she built into the largest social economy research centre in the world.

Associate Professor Emma Lee – Swinburne University of Technology

Dr Emma Lee is a trawlwulwuy woman of tebrakunna country, north-east Tasmania, Australia. She is an Associate Professor, Indigenous Leadership, at the Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University of Technology.  Emma’s work in Tasmania has assisted in constitutional reform, the first joint management plan of a protected area and establishing a market for cultural fisheries.

In 2021, she became the first Indigenous Australian editor of a Best Practice Guideline for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and in 2020 was the inaugural recipient of the William Jonas Award, Institute of Australian Geographers.  In 2019, she accepted a Federal Government role on the National Co-Design Group, Indigenous Voice, for developing models and processes for Indigenous advice to parliament and government. Emma was a finalist for 2022 Australian of the Year (Tasmania) for her body of work in Indigenous rights.

Professor Michael Roy – Glasgow Caledonian University

Michael J. Roy PhD is Professor of Economic Sociology and Social Policy at the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK. His research focuses on: social enterprise, particularly their health and wellbeing impacts; social economy ‘ecosystems’; and on innovative and controversial social policy instruments such as Social Impact Bonds. He is Editor in Chief of Social Enterprise Journal and Associate Editor of Journal of Social Entrepreneurship.