Bid invitations and procurement

(AFD is the donor, Beneficiaries are contracting authorities)
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AFD Bidding process
Here at AFD, we monitor the proper use of our financing. To do so, we impart the general principles of our competitive bidding procedures to the contracting authorities which receive AFD financing. We provide all the corresponding template documents as well. We also offer an e-learning platform to our contracting authorities (and those supporting them) where they receive training on all procurements steps to follow when AFD finances contracts in foreign countries.

Understanding the competitive bidding process

The competitive bidding process is the sole responsibility of the contracting authority. It is conducted in accordance with local regulations and international good practices. There may be no legal relationship between AFD and any person other than the contracting authority which is the beneficiary of its financing.

However, in the context of the proper use of its financing, AFD is particularly vigilant as to compliance with the principles of transparency and opening up to competition. It demands that the various project stakeholders apply stringent requirements in terms of ethics and social and environmental responsibility.

Competition and transparency

AFD requires the contracting authority to apply the principle of the broadest possible competitive bidding in order to select the bid offering the best value for money. The information provided to potential service providers and their preselection, the content and publication of bidding documents (DAO), the assessments of bids and the award of contracts must be implemented in full transparency, in accordance with the relevant internationally recognized practices recommended by the OECD.

The open bid invitation procedure (with or without prequalification) is the most recommended practice for the procurement of a works and supplies contract. For contracts for intellectual services, the restricted bid invitation procedure is considered the most suitable.

In the general case, direct awards of contracts are not accepted by AFD. Derogation from the principle of competitive bidding may only be granted on an exceptional basis. It must be fully argued and provided for in national regulation.

Untying of aid

All the financing allocated by AFD has been untied since 1 January 2002. Consequently, AFD finances all goods and services, regardless of the country of origin of the supplier or service provider, or the contract amount. This decision not only applies to the least developed countries (LDCs), in line with the OECD recommendation of 20 April 2001, but also to all AFD’s partner countries. The commitments made by both AFD and its foreign counterparts are subject to continuous monitoring by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

It is the responsibility of the contracting authority to ensure at national level and, where relevant, at international level, that competitive bidding notices are widely publicized. In the case of an international procedure, in addition to the national media usually planned, publications must at the minimum include the AFD.dgMarket website. This tool was developed by AFD in partnership with the Development Gateway Foundation and benefits from an international reputation and dissemination. It allows contracting authorities to easily publish their notices online and, subsequently, potentially interested service providers to consult them free of charge.

Download the model documents

Supply contracts
History of procurement guidelines

As the Procurement Guidelines' content is adapted on a regular basis, it may differ depending on the date our Beneficiaries signed the Financing Agreement.
In order to access the version of the Guidelines in force at the time the Financing Agreement was signed, you will find on this page a history of all official versions of Guidelines posted on our website since March 2013 (date of first publication).

Publish a procurement notice

The bid invitations, calls for expressions of interest and pre-qualification notices issued by beneficiaries of AFD financing abroad are published on the website afd.dgmarket. On this website you can:

  • Consult, free of charge, the list of procurement notices (bid invitations, calls for expressions of interest, contract awards) and find opportunities likely to interest you through key words (by region, sector, type of contract) 
  • Be systematically informed through e-mail alerts about notices in your business areas and sectors as soon as they are published, after registering on the interface
  • Publish a call for expressions of interest or bid invitation if you are the owner of a project financed by AFD or a buyer acting on behalf of AFD and are already a member of dgMarket.


AFD wants all its beneficiaries and partners to gain a better understanding of its guidelines. That is why we have launched an e-learning platform dedicated to procurement the AFD way: the result is a free, highly detailed interactive course based on numerous practical case studies. It is accessible to learners of all levels.

Participants can follow this e-learning program, in English, at their own pace.