What is Making Spend Matter about?

Making Spend Matter is part of a new generation of URBACT exchange and learning tools called Transfer Networks which seek to explore how good practices can be shared, adapted and reused by cities learning from one another to promote integrated and sustainable urban development. 

The history of URBACT Transfer Network

In 2017, URBACT awarded 97 cities from across Europe with the Good Practice Label.

Amongst them, Preston was recognised for its work with anchor institutions around progressive public procurement and spend analysis.

The Good Practice Cities were then invited to apply for the opportunity to lead a Transfer Network through which they could transfer their experience to other (Transfer) Cities interested in undertaking a similar journey.

You can find out more about Preston's procurement journey by downloading the Icon for pdf Preston's procurement journey timeline [875.24KB].

Phase 1 of Making Spend Matter

Making Spend Matter Phase 1 was approved on the 4 April 2018 along with 24 other Transfer Networks funded through the URBACT III Programme by the European Regional Development Fund.

Preston has been joined by 6 other cities to explore how spend analysis could be further harnessed as an evidence base to progress public procurement and deliver wider benefits to communities and places.

Our motto is "changing procurement, changing cities!"

Who are the Making Spend Matter Partners?

  • Good Practice City: Preston, (United Kingdom)
  • Transfer Cities: Bistrița (Romania), Kavala (Greece), Koszalin (Poland), Pamplona (Spain), Schaerbeek (Belgium) and Vila Nova de Famalicão (Portugal).
  • Network Expert: Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson
  • Ad-hoc Experts: Emma Clarence and John Watt

What is the Good Practice about?

The Good Practice at the core of the Network seeks to transfer 3 things:

  • A methodology
  • A way of cooperating
  • A way of enabling change

It is about analysing and understanding where public spend goes collectively across anchor institutions (organisations which are rooted in a place).

The analysis examines spend data across a set of multiple indicators to understand how goods, services and works are purchased, where they are purchased geographically, in which sector, with whom and with what type of businesses, like Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises.

The analysis can then be utilised as an evidence base to create public procurement strategies, change procurement practices, embed more social and environmental criteria, better understand and engage with the supply chain and identify gaps in the market to be filled with innovative and alternative business models.

The Good Practice's objective is to change how we cooperate across stakeholders, citizens, anchor institutions but also SMEs, how we can change behaviour, how we do procurement and how all of this influences and impacts places and people.

The network at a glance

The Transfer Network works towards helping each Transfer City to successfully transpose and adapt Preston's Good Practice to their respective context.

From a Good Practice City's perspective, this network is also about exploring how the Good Practice around spend analysis can be improved and taken forward locally. For this reason, we are as keen to discover what the network of cities as a whole can learn from each other.

The exchange and learning will be developed as a reciprocal transfer, on the basis all cities have experience and expertise to share and other practices to learn from.

A key component of this network is the understanding that each city is different, starting from different stand point, with their own specific challenges and objectives to meet.

To allow for each city to understand, explore and adapt the Good Practice at their own pace we have structured the network activities between core and optional learning and transfer options.

For more details you can download the Icon for pdf Making Spend Matter Transfer Network [523.06KB] document.

The core Transfer

  • Engage with anchor institutions based in city
  • Discuss as a municipality the importance of public procurement
  • Apply the basic spend analysis
  • Develop recommendation for how public procurement processes can change in the Municipality
  • Share spend analysis findings with anchor institutions based in city

The optional Transfer

  • Application of basic spend analysis by other anchor institutions in city
  • Development of collective Municipality and anchor institution recommendations
  • Application of advanced spend analysis
  • Development of social value focused procurement strategy
  • Making changes to Municipality procurement processes and practices
  • Application of 3,4 and 5 to anchor institutions based in partner city
  • Application of basic spend analysis at second point during transfer network

The transnational aspect of the exchange and learning of the Transfer Network will be supported at each city level

  • by the creation of a Transfer Plan setting out the actions and measures to be adopted locally
  • by the work and collaboration of local stakeholders and anchor institutions as part of an
  • URBACT local group - by the monitoring and recording of the key outcomes, challenges and successes of the Transfer at each city level