This past spring, Honduras took an important step in improving transparency and accountability with respect to Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) by launching an online platform that allows public access to detailed information about these activities.
The portal, created with the support of the World Bank and in coordination with the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST), allows access to information related to PPP projects through their entire project cycle. This is a significant achievement that promotes transparency in PPP planning, procurement, implementation and monitoring in Honduras, by making information easily accessible to citizens.
When we launched in April, I commented that transparency and accountability are key to the success of PPPs for several reasons. First, they foster greater access to information and thus reduce the possibility of corruption, which increases people’s trust in these projects.
In addition, these initiatives ensure that objective criteria are met during procurement processes, reduce renegotiation of contracts, improve competition among companies, and drive more investor participation. All this, in turn, contributes to the growth of the PPP market and increases citizens’ awareness of the importance PPPs have for development as an alternative way to finance critical infrastructure services.
That is why, we at the World Bank strongly support this project, which began in September 2016, and is part of a broader agenda to support PPPs in Honduras.
The reason is simple: there is a significant financing gap between the needs of the region and the available resources in the public sector. Consider that, in the infrastructure sector alone, this gap is around $180 billion per year.
To contribute to closing this gap and maximizing finance for development, it is vital to attract the private sector. To do this, it is imperative to improve the transparency and accountability of governments and institutions. This is a win-win situation: while increasing the trust of investors, we also increase the trust of citizens—our most important stakeholder.
In this spirit, the World Bank has supported several initiatives that address transparency and accountability in recent years. An example is the support we have provided for the country to adhere to global initiatives such as CoST and the Open Government Partnership.
I’m want to note we’re currently promoting a discussion in Honduras regarding the use of open data to:
- Contribute to increasing accountability and assisting decision-making processes related to public policies, as well as defining priorities and budgets.
- Enhance the identification of solutions coming from the private sector in order to provide more opportunities for the economic development of the country.
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One PPP Program, Two World Bank Group Teams, and the MIT