Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Getting started

How do I get started with MAPS? 

The main pre-requisite for starting on a MAPS assessment is the backing of key stakeholders within your country, usually the institution with the overall responsibility for public finances and procurement. 

Who is involved in a MAPS assessment? 

Although countries can undertake assessments by themselves, a MAPS assessment is typically done with partners such as multilateral development banks (MDBs). In any case, if the country is intending to follow the full quality assurance process to obtain the MAPS Seal of Approval, findings and recommendations should be drafted by independent, objective and impartial professionals outside of government. Relevant stakeholders, both public and private, in the assessed country should be involved. The plan for this involvement and a checklist of the main stakeholders to involve are described in the assessment Concept Note, whose template is available on our website.

For all assessments, an assessment technical advisory group (ATAG) is set up with expert members from the MAPS Network. Together with the MAPS Secretariat, the ATAG conducts quality assurance throughout the entire process of the assessment.

Can MAPS be used by a subnational government, or for a specific sector or agency?

Yes. The core MAPS evaluates procurement systems at the national level, sub-national or local level. In addition to this, there are forthcoming supplementary modules on sector- and entity-level procurement.


How long does it typically take to conduct a MAPS assessment? 

This depends on the specific circumstances. Evaluations range in general from 4 to 18 monts depending on missions, validation workshops and the readiness of data and information.

What should be taken into account when calculating the budget for a MAPS assessment? 

The MAPS framework is free and open access. To carry out an assessment, the country authorities, along with partner institutions, must bear in mind the costs associated with the assessors who will undertake the work and costs for missions, statistical or data analysis, meetings and events for validation and dissemination. All of these should be captured in the assessment's concept note, as established in the concept note template.

How many assessors are needed to complete a MAPS assessment and during how much time?

Typically, between 150 to 200 expert days are needed to complete a MAPS assessment. In any case, this depends on the complexity of the task, and the availability of qualitative and quantitative information, among other factors. Assessments are usually led by an international consultant with the experience and knowledge of having undertaken this kind of assessment in the past, with the aim of guaranteeing a professional and impartial evaluation. One or two local consultants provide local context knowledge and experience handling in-country stakeholders. For some exercises, depending on the requirements, experts may be assigned to specific tasks, such as legal review, carrying out and analysing surveys, or collecting and analysing quantitative data.

In what language should a MAPS report be written?  

The MAPS Secretariat operates in three languages: English, Spanish and French. Assessment reports may be written in any language; however, they must be delivered in or translated into either of these three languages if they are submitted for review to the MAPS Secretariat. It is strongly suggested that reports are always translated into English, to facilitate interaction with the ATAG and make them accessible to a broader audience.

Is the Methodology available in other languages? 

The Methodology is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, French and Portuguese.

What is the MAPS Seal of Approval?

The MAPS Seal of Approval certifies that an assessment lives up to the high standards for quality, objectivity, and impartiality in the MAPS framework. Every MAPS assessment undergoes a rigorous quality assurance process and is reviewed both by the MAPS Secretariat and a designated assessment technical advisory group (ATAG) consisting of procurement experts from across the globe. If the necessary requirements are fulfilled, the MAPS Secretariat issues the Seal of Approval, and the assessment report is published on this website.

Where can I find people who are qualified as MAPS assessors? 

The skills and experience needed to conduct a MAPS assessment are described in this document. A list of assessors who have participated in assessments that have received the MAPS Seal of Approval is also available on the MAPS website.

Are people with the MAPS Certification automatically qualified to be part of an assessment team? 

The MAPS Certification shows that the certified person has the necessary theoretical knowledge for participating in MAPS assessments, and that their general qualifications live up to the assessor requirements (but not necessarily the lead assessor requirements) in the Profile of MAPS Assessors. It does not provide a guarantee that the certified person is qualified to lead or participate in a specific assessment. It is always up to the lead institution, who is responsible for the assessment team, to ensure that assessors fit the requirements for the given assessment. 

What is the process if MAPS is used at the sub-national level? 

If the sub-national procurement system works independently from the national, e.g. in the case of federal countries, the process is the same as when doing an assessment at the national level, and the methodology can be applied at the sub-national level without having previously been applied at the national level. If public procurement in the sub-national level is a subsystem of the national system, then the methodology should be applied on the national level, and then supplementary modules may be potentially applied in the sub-national level (for entities, sectors, etc). 

Does the report need to be written following a specific structure?

MAPS assessments must use three mandattory templates: concept note, indicator matrix and assessment report. These are all found in the Templates and Guidance page.

Supplementary modules

When will the remaining MAPS supplementary modules be published? 

The modules are in the final stages of production and will be published as soon as their pilot assessment are completed.

My country is particularly interested in one of the MAPS supplementary modules. Do we need to conduct a core assessment first? 

The entire MAPS suite is open and the supplementary modules can be used by any organisation in any country, as needed. However, we'd always recommend doing the core assessment beforehand since it provides the fundamentals for evaluating the more specific aspects of the procurement system that are dealt with in the supplementary modules. Regardless, a complete core assessment is a prerequisite to carry out any supplementary module if the country wants to receive the MAPS Seal of Approval. The exception to this is the MAPS Supplementary Module on Professionalisation, which has been developed specifically as a stand-alone module. The MAPS Secretariat is available for guidance and support, and we're also happy to assist in facilitating collaboration with partners. Also, we're always interested in your experience using the framework, so please reach out to us if you're using the tool.

MAPS and other tools

How does the MAPS assessment interact with other previously performed assessments in the country? 

The MAPS assessor should draw from relevant previous assessments carried out to find evidence that is useful for the MAPS assessment. These include, amongst others, OECD reports and Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessments. MAPS is aligned with international best practices such as the OECD Recommendations, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) - Model Law on Public Procurement, the European Union (EU) Directives on Public Procurement, and the procurement frameworks used by multilateral development banks, countries and implementing institutions. The part of the assessment devoted to the country context provides the possibility to include findings from other works and reviews.


Are recommendations resulting from a MAPS assessment provided by the assessment team? 

The final assessment report includes recommendations for how to address the gaps found.

Are successive MAPS assessments to measure progress and implementation part of the MAPS design? 

Assessments are not conditioned by subsequent follow-ups, i.e. they are not a compulsory part of the framework, but future assessments could be carried out to take account of changes and reforms.

Will the final MAPS report be published? 

If a report fulfils the conditions for receiving the MAPS Seal of Approval, and if the authorities of the relevant country agree, as indicated in the Concept Note, it will be published on the website.



Does the MAPS Secretariat offer training in using the framework?

The MAPS E-learning Programme provides comprehensive training in all aspects of the framework, theoretical as well as practical. The programme is free of charge and entirely self-paced. Just register on the platform and you can access all modules right away.

How does the E-learning Programme and certification work?

Check out the help page on the E-learning platform for all information regarding the courses and certification. 


The MAPS Secretariat

Does the MAPS Secretariat carry out assessments? 

The Secretariat provides support and quality assurance throughout the entire process, but we do not carry out assessments. We are available to facilitate partnerships as well as advise on how to get started with MAPS.