Public Private Partnerships Transparency and Accountability: Where is my data?

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Most development stakeholders agree on the need to foster more open and transparent Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to ensure that PPP projects provide quality public goods and services to citizens, and that they effectively contribute to pro-poor development outcomes.

That sounds great in theory, but in practice, it’s not that easy. PPPs involve a trove of data and documents. On top of that, the information made available publicly is generally difficult to interrogate, when it’s not completely lost in lengthy PDF files.

Let’s face it: searching for relevant PPP data and information can oftentimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

So, how do we overcome this challenge?

Making transparency and accountability a top priority in PPPs 

Open data and proactive disclosure – i.e. the routine electronic publication of data and information – can play a fundamental role in demystifying PPPs, making their content, scope and progress accessible and understandable by everybody, and helping to ensure that they translate into strong and sustainable development outcomes.

Since 2016, the Governance Global Practice (GGP) and the Public-Private Partnerships Cross-Cutting Solutions Area (PPP CCSA) of the World Bank Group have joined forces to pioneer the development of innovative tools to improve the collection, disclosure and use of PPP data and information.

The first such product, the Framework for Disclosure in PPP projects, developed with funding from the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF)—and released last year—described the enabling environment for proper disclosure in PPPs. It also explained what data and information should be disclosed throughout the life cycle of a PPP.

In a few weeks, the World Bank will launch the second tool of this PPIAF-funded series: the PPP Extension of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS PPP Extension), a technical publishing specification that answers the how. In particular, it provides a standardized structure to model PPP data and information, and eventually, publish it online in open data formats.

This new tool will allow stakeholders from government, civil society and the private sector to access structured PPP data and information in user-friendly formats. This data can then be easily applied to a variety of use cases ranging from monitoring service delivery performance, to preventing fraud and corruption, analyzing value for money, or identifying new business opportunities.

As its name indicates, the OCDS PPP Extension complements—and builds on—the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), an open data standard for the disclosure of public contracting data and information developed in 2014 by the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) with World Bank support.
You can help us move this agenda forward!

Now that you’ve learned how we can make PPPs more transparent – you can get involved on next steps.

The World Bank will be officially launching the OCDS PPP Extension in early June, and will be livestreaming this event from Mexico. The public launch will showcase the results of a pilot conducted in collaboration with the Coordination of National Digital Strategy of the President of Mexico and the Ministry of Communications and Transport and the OCP on a US$7 billion telecommunications PPP project called Red Compartida– to this date the biggest telecom project in Mexico’s history.

Stay tuned on the World Bank and OCP communications channels: more news to come soon on the launch of the OCDS PPP Extension!

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Marcela Rozo

Senior Public Sector Specialist

Norma Garza

Governance Consultant

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