Making policy reform work

A comparative analysis of social procurement

Social procurement, or the use of buying power to create social value, is being increasingly used as a policy lever by governments to generate a more inclusive economy. This Australian Research Council Discovery project is undertaking a comparative analysis of social procurement policy implementation in Victoria and Scotland in order to shed light on the implementation challenges of these reforms and the implications for success.

The project also explores the application of decolonising methodological principles in a novel setting to both understand and support the processes of reciprocity and deep listening needed to make policy reforms involving diverse actors work.

Project Partners

Logos – University of Technology Sydney, Glasgow Caledonian University, Centre for Social Impact Swinburne.

Funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant program (DP200101394).

Professor Jo Barraket, University of Melbourne, Chief Investigator

Distinguished Professor Martin Loosemore, University of Technology Sydney, Chief Investigator

Professor Gemma Carey, University of New South Wales, Chief Investigator

Associate Professor Emma Lee, Swinburne University of Technology, Chief Investigator

Professor Michael Roy, Glasgow Caledonian University, Partner Investigator

Dr Sophie Lamond, University of Melbourne, Research Fellow

Dr Roksolana Suchowerska, Swinburne University of Technology, Project Manager

Jack Rendall, Glasgow Caledonian University, Research Assistant

Anna Spiesova, Glasgow Caledonian University, Research Assistant

Chris Burnett, University of Melbourne, Research Assistant


Martin Loosemore, Emma Lee and Jo Barraket,  Resourcing Australia’s public infrastructure is an opportunity, not a crisis, The Mandarin, 8 November 2021.

Event Recording

Designing and Implementing Social Procurement Policy: Preliminary Insights from a Comparative Study

Melbourne Social Equity Institute seminar, recorded on 24 August 2022

Seminar Description

Speakers: Professor Jo Barraket, Associate Prof Emma Lee, and Professor Michael Roy

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 seminar offers some early findings from a three-year comparative study of the implementation of social procurement policies in Scotland and Victoria. Presenters share comparative insights about the underlying drivers of the policies, and the key challenges and unanticipated outcomes of their implementation.

For information about this project, please contact:

Melbourne Social Equity Institute