Welcome to the “10 Candid Career Questions” series, introducing you to the PPP professionals who do the deals, analyze the data, and strategize on the next big thing. Each of them followed a different path into PPP practice, and this series offers an inside look at their backgrounds, motivations, and choices. Each blogger receives the same 15 questions and answers 10 or more that tell their PPP career story candidly and without jargon. We believe you’ll be as surprised and inspired as we were.
Coauthored with Darwin Marcelo Gordillo, Infrastructure Economist at the World Bank Group and Ruth Schuyler House, Consultant, the World Bank Group
Given the current slowdown of the Chinese economy, many are trying to predict the impact on the world’s economy as well as the regional trickledown effects. Countless developing countries are focused on building ties with large-scale, global economies like those of the U.S., OECD, India, and China. But perhaps it’s time to consider what role enhanced regional integration can play -- not only as a way to enhance connectivity with larger markets, but also as an important risk management measure to protect countries’ economies in the event of economic downturns in the world’s larger markets.
This sort of regional integration can be accomplished by better connecting infrastructure such as roads, rail, and maritime routes – sectors that are good candidates for public-private partnerships (PPPs). This could bring benefits to Southeast Asia, the part of the world we work in, as well as many other regional economies.
As countries consider how to meet their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), creating water supply services that are more sustainable – with investments that are longer-lasting – is a high priority. This is the case in many rural parts of Africa where today’s villages are quickly becoming tomorrow’s small towns, and demand is high for an improved system to develop piped water schemes. It’s certainly true for Benin, where I work.
But when our team started examining what it would take to create an effective public-private partnership (PPP) for sustainable rural water services, it became clear that the step before the transaction was not due diligence or other research, as is typical – it was reform. Legal and institutional reform needed to take hold first so that the change we wanted to help the government implement would be effective for many decades to come.
Most African countries have realized the importance of private investment and are experimenting with private sector partnerships for the construction, maintenance, and/or operation of capital intensive projects. Where they have succeeded, as with Ghana’s e-government public-private partnership (PPP), results benefit the entire society.
In April 2010, the Government of Ghana signed a public-private partnership (PPP) contract to reengineer business registration processes, deploy state-of-the-art application software and hardware, and employ best-in-class solutions for the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Registrar General’s Office. This was part of a broader program to achieve greater efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness in the delivery of selected government services using information and communications technology (ICT).
But with the new International Infrastructure Support System (IISS) - a digital platform that supports project preparation -. I’ve been involved in IISS’s development for last six years and I’m inspired by this platform’s achieving transparency, efficiency and quality in infrastructure PPPs, and traditional procurement, is within our reach. Through it, we will be able to deliver more quality-infrastructure faster and improve people’s quality of life across the globe. potential to transform the way infrastructure projects are prepared, financed and delivered
. That’s been true in the State of Bahia, Brazil, following the Sometimes, the most persuasive case for a PPP is the success of a past partnership in the same sector Hospital do Suburbio project, which closed in 2010 with help from IFC’s PPP advisory services and has been providing people in one of the State’s poorest suburbs with access to high quality healthcare. Based on the success of the PPP in meeting state government goals for improving local health services, Bahia government officials approached IFC again to discuss a new initiative – , including to rural communities. a partnership to offer imaging and diagnostic services and facilities across the state
Just as the Hospital do Suburbio emerged from great need, people in Bahia faced a shortage of high quality and complex imaging equipment and tests. Some of these were as basic as X-rays and mammography; others demanded state-of-the-art machines and services for CT Scans and MRI tests. This fed into the Bahia’s larger public health challenges, which included low bed turnovers and overcrowded hospitals.
The partnership with the private sector was created to solve this “package” of problems. It was undertaken in partnership with the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which together manage the Brazil PSP Program fund, a project that fosters the development of infrastructure and services in Brazil in partnership with the private sector.
With 2015 firmly behind us, it’s time to reflect on the past year’s global economic trends -- while looking forward at the challenges and opportunities facing countries around the world. Check out the articles below for diverse and thought-provoking perspectives on how public-private partnerships can play a constructive role in global economies throughout 2016 and beyond.
PPPs are all about balance: maintaining equilibrium between public and private, risk and reward, cost and impact. Understanding this balance is especially important in regions with extreme poverty, where access to infrastructure can mean life or death. I was reminded of this again while working on a PPP for the development and operation of a statewide network of advanced diagnostic facilities, including fully equipped and staffed radiology and pathology laboratories, in the Indian State of Jharkhand – an area characterized by a low average income, high tribal population, very high incidence of poverty, and little social development. Health and education indicators in Jharkhand are also markedly unfavorable in comparison to both the all-India average and the major Indian states.
In the context of countries that need rebuilding, public-private partnerships (PPPs) can lend extra oomph to the bounce, boosting post-conflict countries in cases where:
- Government doesn’t have the money, skills, or people to deliver good services; or
- Even if it had the money, it couldn’t spend it well or fast enough, and/or
- Even if it could invest the money, any follow-up would be insufficient (see first bullet).