Special Issue: The Role of Public Procurement in Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Call for papers for: Journal of Public Procurement

Call for Papers - Special Issue: The Role of Public Procurement in Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Guest Editors

Prof. Carmela Di Mauro - Management Research Group, DICAR, University of Catania, Italy ([email protected])

Prof. Katri Kauppi - Aalto University School of Business, Finland ([email protected])

Prof. Louise Knight - Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, University of Twente, Netherlands ([email protected])

Overview of Special Issue

The devastating experience of the COVID-19 epidemic is unveiling critical weaknesses of public healthcare provision in times in crisis. Undoubtedly, some of the healthcare shortcomings that have emerged during the pandemic are related to public healthcare organizations’ purchasing of goods and services for the healthcare sector. When public procurement norms and practices engender inefficient and ineffective sourcing processes, the resulting negative outcomes include slowness in responding to the crisis, from the bottlenecks in the procurement of critical medical equipment for ICU and other hospitalized patients, to the purchase of far simpler items such as protective masks.

The fear that the pandemic will generate a world where unexpected oscillations in the demand for health services, equipment, drugs and devices may occur, obliges policy makers and procurement agencies to develop agile procedures to match supply and demand. These may include not only digital public procurement procedures but also the modification of supplier selection criteria for healthcare goods and services, leading to selecting suppliers that exhibit greater resilience to supply-chain disruptions. The overall lesson for Public Procurement is that it must be able to act as a strategic tool to boost not only effective and efficient, but also resilient, healthcare systems. 

During the crisis, different public health systems at national or regional level in different parts of the world have leveraged public procurement using a variety of strategies depending on local legislation and prevailing practices. Sharing and consolidating this knowledge may help identify “best practices” that can be used as foundation for future actions that facilitate public procurement in the health care sector.

This special issue aims at providing a platform for discussion and research on the topic of public procurement in the healthcare sector by answering the following questions: What has been/is the role of Public Procurement in facilitating the management of the COVID-19 pandemic? How can Public Procurement be leveraged to manage health crises?
The special issue will cut across different areas of research relating to public procurement for health services including, but not limited to:

  • Public policy and procurement strategy (e.g. group purchasing and cross-border coordinated purchases)
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Vendor selection criteria
  • Use of PfI and PCP for the development of cures, apps and organizational innovations
  • Innovative initiatives, practices, procedures and organisation models of public procurement in the health sector, including the procurement of medicinal products, medical devices and services
  • How to find alternative capacity and suppliers quickly under supply capacity constraints (i.e. so called reverse marketing approach in times of crisis)
  • How risk management needs to change in the future

The Special Issue welcomes empirical research built on either primary survey data or secondary data, and case studies providing examples of how to optimize public purchasing processes. We also welcome conceptual papers (e.g. critiques of existing theories/frameworks which may not prove relevant/useful in times of crisis).

All submissions should adhere to the scope of the journal. The Journal of Public Procurement covers all aspects of public procurement at a local, regional, national and international level. Being multi-disciplinary, the journal examines public procurement from the perspectives of management, law, economics and politics.

Submission Guidelines

All papers should be submitted by 30th March 2021.  Manuscripts should be submitted through the journal’s ScholarOne system, found here.  All submissions will be subject to peer review.

All articles must follow JOPP’s standard guidelines on length, style and formatting.  The journal’s author guidelines are available here.

Please send all enquiries, including any expressions of interest and queries over the suitability of a submission, to the Guest Editors:

Prof. Carmela Di Mauro
University of Catania, Italy 
[email protected]

Prof. Katri Kauppi
Aalto University School of Business, Finland
[email protected]

Prof. Louise Knight
University of Twente, Netherlands
[email protected]


  • Submission of manuscripts: 30th March 2021
  • Expected publication date: Issue 1/2022


Christensen, T., Lægreid, P., & Rykkja, L. H. (2016). Organizing for crisis management: Building governance capacity and legitimacy. Public Administration Review, 76(6), 887-897.

European Commission (2020). Guidance from the European Commission on using the public procurement framework in the emergency situation related to the COVID-19 crisis, (2020/C 108 I/01)  https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52020XC0401(05)&from=EN.

Gupta S., Martin KS., Reza ZF., Niki M. (2016). Disaster management from a POM perspective: Mapping a new domain, Production and Operations Management, 25(10), 1611-1637.

Haavisto, I., & Kovács, G. (2015). A framework for cascading innovation upstream the humanitarian supply chain through procurement processes. Procedia Engineering, 107(2015), 140-145.

Johnson, J., Howard, K., Wilson, A., Ward, M., Gilbert, G. L., & Degeling, C. (2019). Public preferences for One Health approaches to emerging infectious diseases: a discrete choice experiment. Social Science & Medicine, 228, 164-171.

Livingston, E., Desai, A., & Berkwits, M. (2020). Sourcing personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jama.

Mackintosh, M., Tibandebage, P., Njeru, M. K., Kungu, J. K., Israel, C., & Mujinja, P. G. (2018). Rethinking health sector procurement as developmental linkages in East Africa. Social Science & Medicine, 200, 182-189.

Meehan, J., Menzies, L., & Michaelides, R. (2017). The long shadow of public policy; Barriers to a value-based approach in healthcare procurement. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 23(4), 229-241.

Nijboer, K., Senden, S., & Telgen, J. (2017). Cross-Country Learning in Public Procurement: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Public Procurement, 17(4).

Quarshie, A. M., & Leuschner, R. (2020). Interorganizational Interaction in Disaster Response Networks: A Government Perspective. Journal of Supply Chain Management, in press.

Pazirandeh, A., & Norrman, A. (2014). An interrelation model of power and purchasing strategies: A study of vaccine purchase for developing countries. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 20(1), 41-53.

Suhonen, N., Tammi, T., Saastamoinen, J., Pesu, J., Turtiainen, M., & Okkonen, L. (2019). Incentives and risk-sharing in public procurement of innovations. Journal of Public Procurement, 19(2), 129-145.

Torabi, S. A., Shokr, I., Tofighi, S., & Heydari, J. (2018). Integrated relief pre-positioning and procurement planning in humanitarian supply chains. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 113, 123-146.

Uyarra E, Edler J, Garcia-Estevez J, Georghiou L & Yeouw J (2014), “Barriers to innovation through public procurement: A supplier perspective”, Technovation, 34(10), 631–645.

Walker, H., Schotanus, F., Bakker, E., & Harland, C. (2013). Collaborative procurement: a relational view of buyer–buyer relationships. Public Administration Review, 73(4), 588-598.