10 tips for implementing a public to public partnership (P2P)

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ImageIn my last post, I proposed that economic and social value from Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) can be improved significantly if the public sector can identify and exploit the potential to create Public to Public Partnerships (P2Ps). I believe that P2Ps can use their combined scale and power to challenge the private sector to deliver additionality over and above what the public sector can achieve within the timeline and resources available.  They can create an imperative for the private sector to innovate and to use their competencies, capabilities, and capacity to contribute to a PPP and in transforming the Economic and Social Value Equation.  Additionality in PPPs needs to be more than what the public sector alone can achieve.
Because many public sector organizations are still at the early stages of looking at P2Ps, I’ve compiled a series of suggestions based upon experience that interested individuals can use to explore P2P development.  Public sector managers need to assess if it’s the right approach for their organizations within the context of the aspirations to deliver enhancements to the Economic and Social Value Equation.

10 Tips for Implementing P2Ps

  1. Look around the world at the public sector to find where examples exist of what you’re thinking of doing to create P2Ps. 
  2. Identify what lessons can be learned from existing examples of P2Ps.
  3. Ensure that you’re clear about the focus for the joint working and the balance between economic and social value desired in the Economic and Social Value Equation.
  4. Ensure that you are clear about the additionality that a P2P could deliver and what a PPP needs to deliver.
  5. Evaluate whether a P2P is limited to specific projects or could be the start of a wider relationship formation within the public sector.
  6. Understand the barriers to creating a P2P and put them in the context of the Economic and Social Value Equation to determine whether the potential additionality forgone through an individual organizational approach to a PPP is acceptable.
  7. Be clear about how additionality in a PPP is defined and the role that the public sector needs to play in supporting its delivery.
  8. Ensure that innovation leads to the tangible delivery of additionality and that it is at the heart of both P2Ps and PPPs.
  9. Be clear that PPPs are not just an opportunity to transfer a problem from the public to the private sector, but an opportunity to deliver additionality in the Economic and Social Value Equation above that possible in the public sector.
  10. Ensure that all parties to P2Ps and PPPs have a shared understanding of, commitment to, and definition of, success in terms of the additionality to be delivered by joint working in the public sector and between the public and private sectors.
If you’d like to add to this list of suggestions for those pursuing P2Ps, or share your experience with P2Ps, please include them in the comments section below.
More details can be found in: The Public Private Partnership Handbook: How to maximise value from joint working.
Check out the PPP Knowledge Lab - The world's key resources on public-private partnerships in one place .


Malcolm Morley OBE

Director, ARU Centre for Partnership Working, Anglia Ruskin University

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