Some PPPs succeed. Some don’t. And many of these partnerships stake their ground somewhere in-between: they are effective but still fall short of a result or two; they deliver but with less efficiency than intentioned; they innovate but not at the scale envisioned. In other words, PPPs’ potential is being fulfilled, but certain changes need to be made – urgently, and at the highest levels – so these partnerships can achieve their true potential. How?
I’m glad you asked. Many decades of PPP experience and many conversations over cocktails with colleagues on the public and the private side of these deals has prompted this call to create partnerships that can do an even better job serving people around the world. Here are four areas that must be addressed:Preparation
A well-prepared project is a successful one; yet, we need more
funding to prepare projects and to prepare governments for the demands of PPP from start to finish. More
time to get things right, especially identifying the right partner and agreeing on how the partnership will work. More
technical support for governments, since PPP is a huge leap from their usual business of public service and they therefore need extra help and advice.
There are some technical assistance funds available, but too few, too far between, and providing too little capacity. One interesting approach is to provide funding to existing entities with capacity, with a financial interest in the relevant project. This links the project preparation funding with a clear incentive to bring the project to fruition, and for this reason has achieved some important success in helping to prepare projects.