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First test for new Nordic procurement model

  • Published 12/03/2014
Before summer, the Finnish municipality of Espoo will make the first value-based health and welfare procurement based on the model created in the VABPRO project. Project leader Suzan Ikävalko is pleased with the progress so far.

Reducing social welfare and health care expenditure is high on the agenda in all the Nordic countries, where as little as 10 percent of the Nordic population represents 80 percent of the total expenditure.


This is the starting point for the Value Based Procurements in Primary and Social Care (VABPRO) project, one of three projects funded through Nordic Innovation’s former lighthouse project Innovation in the Health Sector through Public Procurement and Regulation.


The goal is to develop a Nordic model for so-called value-based procurement, contributing to a system shift from price-driven procurement to a value based and holistic approach where factors such as patient experience and prevention are integrated.


– It is an approach to design the services in a new and more holistic way, where the outcome is better services for less costs. The service should focus on prevention and user experience as well as user empowerment, explains VABPRO project leader Suzan Ikävalko.



First test around the corner


The project is running until the end of 2014, and during that time the model will be tested in five different cases. The first real test is only months away when the Finnish municipality of Espoo is set to make a procurement of housing services for disabled autistic people, which will be a great learning for both the city of Espoo and the VABPRO project, which consists of participants from Finland, Sweden and Denmark.


–  We are all excited to see the practical outcome of the procurement. Maybe we can say that it is the first VABPRO style test procurement. The rewarding and interesting fact is that the City of Espoo is planning to launch a bigger procurement in the same field soon, where learnings of this case can be used and further developed in practice, she adds.



Pleased with progress and collaboration


The VABPRO project is running until the end of 2014, and is halfway through its run. Because the model offers a new approach to public procurement, there have been some challenges regarding both conceptualisation and availability of data.


– It has been an interesting journey but a bit more challenging one that we originally thought, says Ikävalko.


–  The process so far really shows the benefit for different parties to meet in a new context such as VABPRO. Although challenging, this forces you to sit down and strictly focus on and define what you want to achieve. Fortunately, it turns out, it is the focus and strict definitions that create methodological readiness and enable the participants to move forward in line with their ambitions.


The VABPRO project is also working closely with Nordic PPI-Net and INHP, the two other funded projects through the lighthouse project.




VABPRO contact information:


Suzan Ikävalko, project leader

+358 (0)50 5834 292


Anna Maksimainen, project manager (FI, DK)

+358 (0)40 7091 309


Fredrik Eklund, project manager (SE)

+46 (0)73 7158 632





(Photo credit: Joshua Zader/Flickr)