WES Information Bulletin 08.06.2023: ‘Support for the implementation of Sustainable Public Procurement operations in Tunisia’‏‏



From May 2020 to November 2022, the ‘Water and Environment Support (WES) in the Southern Neighbourhood Region’ project coached staff within Tunisian public and private bodies in order to make the process of public procurement within the construction sector more sustainable. Using their prior experience, and with the aim of further facilitating the reproduction of this process, WES, in collaboration with the Tunis International Centre for Environmental Technologies (CITET), has developed guidance to support the implementation of sustainable public procurement (SPP) measures within the construction sector in Tunisia.

The Tunisian Ministry of the Environment and CITET have also launched a series of programmes in the building and construction sector in close partnership with the relevant professionals.


Methodology and Implementation


This was designed and carried out based on the results from the first conclusive work (Institutional support and assistance for the implementation of the national plan of action for sustainable public procurement ‘Expert Facility’ from the SWIM-H2020 SM project (2016-2019)).

It addressed the aspects of SPPs with a focus on the construction sector. The building sector has already been identified as a priority sector within the framework of the National Plan of Action for Sustainable Public Procurement (PNAPPD) based on the results of prioritisation (according to the methodology of the Marrakesh working group  UN Environment Programme (UNEP)).

The main objective was to implement concrete Sustainable Public Procurement measures in the construction sector and in the setting of implementing PANAPD and worked on a methodology to follow for the SPPs in the construction sector in a ‘learning by doing’ approach, which can be reproduced in other sectors.

WES has used skills and services from the Members of the Consortium of the Association of Cities and Regions
for Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+) and the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE). The experts formulated an assessment of the situation. They then created a questionnaire intended to help the different stakeholders to better grasp the understanding of SPPs, including obstacles to and requirements for using them. A public market to support throughout its process was then selected in cooperation with CITET. During this work, the consultation with the stakeholders was very constructive, especially during the steering committee meetings. As planned, guidance and recommendations for decision-makers have been suggested.


This work has been carried out according to a progressive approach and covers the following tasks:

  • Launch meeting – kick-off via video conference on 27 May 2020
  • Diagnosis of the assessment and questionnaire launch: July 2020
  • Setting up the steering committee and the successive meetings:
  • Meeting on 26 January 2021 with the WES and CITET experts (video conference): Planning and re-framing tasks, particularly taking into account the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Meeting on 20 April 2021 (video conference): Presenting the work, experts, diagnosis, and results of the questionnaire
  • Meeting on 26 May 2021 (in person): Selecting a pilot project to support.
  • Presenting a communication strategy and methodological support plan: July-August 2021
  • Technical support of an SPP from September 2021 to October 2022 (in partnership with the CLIMA project in Mahdia):
  • Kick-off meeting for the support process of the chosen pilot project ‘Building an improved composting site in Mahdia’ (WES – CITET – CLIMA – Commune de Mahdia): 15 September 2021
  • First workshop on inserting technical sustainability clauses, Tunis: 27 October 2021
  • Second workshop on inserting technical sustainability clauses with a focus on managing waste from construction sites, Tunis: 23 March 2022
  • Concluding workshop and strategic committee meeting: Presenting the project’s results, testimony from the purchasing coordinator and presenting the guidance on SPPs in the construction sector as well as the recommendations to address to the decision-makers: 26 October 2022


Main Outcomes

  • Diagnosis of the assessment and launch of the questionnaire
  • The ‘toolbox’ for coaching buyers on inserting sustainability clauses
  • Guidance on SPPs in the construction sector
  • This work has been carried out in close collaboration with CITET and in consultation with the stakeholders, who met regularly under the auspices of the steering committee.
  • The ‘learning by doing’ process has fully fulfilled its duties, as the technical sustainability clauses could be inserted into the pilot project specifications selected and presented during the two workshops.
  • The guide on SPPs has been well received and is planned to be published shortly on the CITET website.



Guide & Useful Link







WES Project


The EU funded Water and Environment Support (WES) is a regional project designed to contribute to the implementation of an integrated approach to pollution reduction and prevention, in line with the Union for the Mediterranean agendas and the Barcelona Convention. WES is also meant to contribute to a more efficient management of scarce water resources in the ENI Southern Neighbourhood region.

The project aims to do so by increasing the capacity of stakeholders that are involved in pollution reduction and water management and support them in formulating and implementing the environmental and water policies.

WES supports the shift to a more sustainable consumption and production model, promotes an integrated and efficient management of water, combats plastic pollution and marine litter and fosters dialogue on key environmental and sustainable development issues. In this way, WES also supports mutual understanding, cooperation, and peace in the region.


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