Place-based Social Procurement Program

Background: This initiative sought to use procurement as one of the systemic vehicles to address some of the issues of disadvantage in an Australian region.


Service: Social & Sustainable Procurement – Placed-based Programs 


This place-based initiative was established in an Australian region which seen long-term entrenched unemployment and disadvantage exacerbated by the closure of the manufacturing industry.

ArcBlue was engaged to lead and develop the social procurement aspect of the initiative.

  • Principally to create sustainable jobs for people in disadvantaged communities.

ArcBlue worked with individual compact members of the initiative to achieve the following outcomes:

  • To help implement change;
  • Conduct masterclasses and workshops; and
  • Establish a compact action network where reps from the compact regularly work together to explore opportunities to use their procurement practice to achieve the objectives of growth.

Several elements formed our approach:

  • ArcBlue created a Social Procurement Toolkit – the first of its kind in Australia;
  • This tool was a step by step guidance in support for undertaking social procurement;
  • It assisted businesses to prepare tenders and sub-contract work particularly in capital projects; and
  • Provided guidance for both buyers and suppliers.

ArcBlue utilised its suite of tools particularly Dashboards.

  • Created Dashboards for each of the 43 compact members and the region;
  • Collected spend and employment data from all 43 compact members;
  • Dashboards integrate their own data with regional economic and other data sets to help track the impact of their local and social procurement practices; and
  • The regional dashboard collates information across all members and looks to track, analyse and report on the impact of the program.

We performed Economic Modelling, including:

  • Working with 12 pilot compact members to analyse spend; and
  • The data was integrated with a range of other data sets to estimate the impact that a change in spend patterns could have on the regional economy and job creation.


The Social Procurement toolkit created by ArcBlue continues to help the regional businesses achieve local and social outcomes.

We are seeing significant changes in local and social procurement practices across the region.

  • There are construction projects employing people from target disadvantaged communities;
  • There is an increased focus on local expenditure; and
  • The newly developed tender documentation is being used by a number of compact members.